Rocky the Ultramarathoner? Boxer Ran 30 Miles Across Philly in Rocky II Training Scene

Rocky Balboa, American hero, rose to fame for his boxing prowess with his World Champion wins in the ring against James ‘Clubber’ Lang and Apollo Creed along with numerous bouts in between.

He showed us that an average American, with heart, could become a world champion!

While we knew no other boxer trained harder than Rocky, we didn’t know that during Rocky II that Rocky ran just over 30 miles during a single training run (watch above). It was a well hidden secret just how far Rocky went on that run across Philadelphia until this week.

We now know, thanks to Dan McQuade of Philly Mag, just how far Rocky went on that run. McQuade, upon recently viewing the movie, had this to say:

What’s always amused me about this scene is how absolutely little sense Rocky’s route makes: South Philly becomes North Philly becomes the Italian Market becomes North Philly again, and so on. Obviously, the montage isn’t meant to be taken seriously as an actual workout; it’s just a few scenes strung together so “Gonna Fly Now” can play and Rocky can finish at the top of the Art Museum steps.

But, I wondered, what if this roadwork were treated as one actual run? How far would Rocky go? Well, I decided to find out. I pieced together the routes Rocky could have traveled from scene to scene in this training montage and calculated distance.

So McQuade used a USA Track and Field online mapping/measuring tool to figure out just how far Rocky went during his Rocky II training run:


View the Actual Rocky II Training Route

Rocky covered 30.61 miles with little to no hydration, without Gu, without an ounce of tech-clothing, in high-tops.

Read the entire segment by segment breakdown of Rocky’s run across Philly, by McQuade HERE (fun read).

Rocky was ultramarathon cool before marathons or ultramarathons swept the country. I mean even by today’s standards, who goes out on a 30-mile training run?

I didn’t see Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather out running more than a handful of miles at a time during any of his recent training runs for fights.

And let’s not even talk about ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson. His cardio used to come exclusively from juggling pageant contestants and actresses in and out of his limo.

The only boxer that might have come close to the ‘Rocky the Ultramarathoner’ was Little Mac from Mike Tyson’s Punchout.

Mac used to get in several miles of training on the shoreline of New York City after defeating the likes of Glass Joe, Bald Bull and King Hippo.  His trainer, Doc Louis, would always lead the way on his 10-speed.

Rocky was hard-nosed like an ultramarathoner. He didn’t always win. Heck, his career record was 54-27-1, but he always bounced back, ready to battle to an inch of his life when the rest of us thought he was dead or better off dead.

Do long 30-mile training runs through Philly pay off? Well it wasn’t without merit as Rocky defeated Apollo Creed for some serious bling at the conclusion of Rocky II –  the WBC World Heavyweight Championship belt.

Long live, Rocky!

He did have a few pacers along the way!

Read Dan McQuade’s Article: How Far Did Rocky Go in His Training Run In ‘Rocky II’?

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This post was written by:

- who has written 1051 posts on Run It Fast®.

Joshua Holmes has completed 197 marathons/ultramarathons while running 100+ miles 43 including races such as the Badwater 135, Western States 100, The Last Annual Vol State 500K (3x). His favorite races to date are the Vol State 500K, Badwater 135, Barkley Fall Classic, Catalina Eco Marathon, Chimera 100, Across The Years, Savage Gulf Trail Marathon, Strolling Jim 40 Miler, Tunnel Hill 100, RUTS, EC100 and the Flying Monkey Marathon in his home state of Tennessee. Follow @bayou Follow @joshuaholmes on Instagram

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