Community Spotlights

Q&A: Meet Park Champion runner Geoffrey Long

by Melissa Romero on April 5, 2018

Each year our Fairmount Park Conservancy Blue Cross Broad Street Run team of Park Champions raise thousands of dollars to support Philly’s parks—all while training for the 10-miler on Broad Street in May. Why do they do it? Sure, there are perks like extra special guided runs through Philly’s parks, swag, and a membership to the Conservancy. But for many, it’s all about supporting their favorite places to run: Philly’s parks!

With the 2018 Broad Street Run just weeks away, join us as we highlight some of our team members. This week, meet Geoffrey Long, one of the first team members to meet the minimum fundraising goal of $425! He explains why he decided to join our team and shares some of his favorite places to run in Philly’s parks.

What is your favorite place to run in Philly’s parks and why?
I think my favorite place to run in Philly is Wissahickon Valley Park. It is such a rarity to find a place inside a city that has quality single track trail running. While I tend to do Sunday long runs on the Kelly Drive loop, I consider the slow grinding miles out on the Wissahickon trails to be the real treat.

Have you participated in the Broad Street Run in the past?  If so, what brings you back?
I must have run Broad Street at least four or five times at this point. This is the best Philly race and always a fun post-race tailgate. Granted, some years are faster than others, and those fast ones are getting fewer and farther between. This year myself and a group of friends are running the race in memory of Matt Honea who passed away in the fall 2016. So this one will be a little different than the ones in years past. That being said, we are going to do a great post-race tailgate. That is always the real star of the show.

Geoffrey Long (center), a member of Fairmount Park Conservancy’s 2018 Blue Cross Broad Street Run team of Park Champions, is running the 10-miler in honor of his late friend Matt Honea, a supporter of Philly’s parks.

What made you want to join Fairmount Park Conservancy’s 2018 Team of Park Champions for this year’s run?
Matt was a tireless champion for Philly’s parks on a personal and professional level. He worked at Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) on many park improvement projects, including the rehab of Ralph Brooks Park in South Philly. I wanted to do this as an outlet for a lot of us who loved Matt and also shared his passion for Philly’s parks. With more than 10 percent of the city’s land mass accounting for less than 1 percent of the city’s budget, the parks need as many champions as we can find!

What are some of the highlights you have enjoyed so far or look forward to enjoying as a member of our Team of Park Champions?
I have been running around Philly parks since I moved to Philly in 2004. I really like the idea of finding some new, unique hidden gems in the parks. Philly is at its best when you dig beneath the surface so I am excited to see what type of weird and wild new spots I can discover working with you!

You were one of the first team members to meet the minimum fundraising goal. What advice or tips can you provide to other team members to make their fundraising experience as successful as yours?
I have great friends and I am fundraising in memory of someone that is larger than life. Raising money for Fairmount Park Conservancy in honor of Matt is a pretty easy task. I would say a general point on fundraising that being unafraid to put out your efforts in the public and stating clearly why you are making the effort helps a lot.

Supporting parks in Philly is super critical for everyone’s quality of life. We have one of the world’s greatest park systems and it is something that touches all Philadelphians’ lives regardless of age, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, or race. Raising money for parks is directly helping our fellow citizens in a meaningful way.  I know that’s something Matt cared about deeply and something I care about as well.



We still have bibs for Broad Street! Join our Fairmount Park Conservancy Blue Cross Broad Street Run 2018 team of Park Champions and enjoy great perks while raising funds for your favorite places to run: Philly’s parks! For supporting Fairmount Park Conservancy, each participant receives the following:

  • Membership to Fairmount Park Conservancy at the $50 level
  • Extra Special Guided Training Runs on the hidden trails of Fairmount Park
  • 2 Park Champion Meet ‘N Greet Happy Hours at Philadelphia Runner
  • Exclusive Fairmount Park Conservancy clothing item
  • Individualized fundraising webpage via Crowdrise
  • VIP Access to Post-race party at FDR Park
  • Blue Cross Broad Street Run 2018 t-shirt
  • The good feelings that come from raising funds for trail improvements in Philly’s parks!

Register for our team here.