Philadelphia Runner Track Club began in the fall of 2000 as an athlete-organized and operated competitive running team. Initially known as SureKill Track Club, namesake of the most challenging hill on Philadelphia’s once venerable Belmont Plateau cross-country course, the club was founded by LaSalle University graduates Brian Gallagher, Pete Dougherty, and Tom Sabol. Their goal was to establish a club to promote and foster the development of post-collegiate runners in their pursuit of ever-faster times, national championships and Olympic dreams – and they have done just that.
After a year and a half, the team changed its name to Philadelphia Track Club (PTC), so as to be more recognized with the region where they lived and trained. It was during the four years as PTC that the team really began to grow and flourish, expanding from a handful of friends to a corps of several dozen competitive runners. Five of those runners have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon (Ted Callinan and Matt Byrne in 2004 and 2008; Michele Lilienthal, Abby Dean, and Meredith Lambert in 2008). The team attracted sponsors: first PUMA (2002), then Philadelphia Runner, the city’s premier specialty running store (2006). These relationships have brought the team to its current name: Philadelphia Runner Track Club/PUMA (PRTC).
In 2014, PRTC reorganized with a new generation of athletes. They incorporated as a non-profit in 2017 and once again attracted members aiming to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. PRTC currently competes as a team in the Mid-Atlantic USATF Grand Prix and at USATF Club XC/Track Nationals.