I Wanna Know

PW exposes the tricks, scams and truth about the powers that be.

By Sammy Mack
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Feb. 25, 2004

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Q: What workout equipment does Mayor Street have in his basement?

A: "The mayor works out on a stationary bike between 4 and 6 in the morning, covering the equivalent of 40 to 60 miles a week," says Street spokesperson Christine Ottow. That's a lot of ground to cover in one place. So to mix things up, Street bikes outside on weekends. He also occasionally hits the city's pavement with the police narcotics bike unit. But Street isn't the only Pennsylvania mayor with a rigorous exercise routine. Mayor Tom Murphy of Pittsburgh is a distance runner. "I think he's run 26 marathons," says Murphy spokesperson Craig Kwiecinski. Pittsburgh's mayor even ran alongside the likes of P. Diddy in the last New York City Marathon. Who would win a literal mayors' race between Murphy and Street? "If it's a long-distance run, my money's on Tom Murphy," says Kwiecinski. That's big talk, considering Philly's figurehead is such a trim guy. In a city where cheese-steaks and scrapple are sold openly on street corners, staying svelte is no simple task. Street officially recognized the difficulty in 2000 after Men's Fitness magazine infamously dubbed Philadelphia the fattest city in America. The mayor took a stand against the unbecoming distinction, and in an effort to whip his constituents into shape, created the Office of Health and Fitness. The office has since adopted the position that "faulty genes may load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger!" Think about that one the next time you're waiting in line for a slab of fried pork fat with cheese. The agency's healthy lifestyle initiatives include programs like Health Trip 2004. The 11-week clinic incorporates a series of exercise and dietary classes set in the fictitious Cholesterol Springs. For a nominal fee ($25 by yourself or $20--each--with a buddy), you too can take spinning classes to cycle the soft pretzels away. The current set of classes began in January and will run through April. More plans are in the works for future Health Trips. For information on the program and tips for staying fit like Mayor Street, visit www.phila.gov/fitandfun.

What do you wanna know? Send queries and complaints to Sammy Mack at smack@philadelphiaweekly.com

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