The Good Life – Philadelphia’s Broad Street 10 Miler

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It’s over.

The Broad Street Run. The past few months we spent so much time doing training runs and preparing for the race; now I have the post race blues. Whomp.

So what about my husband, Jay, the reluctant runner? How is he feeling after all of this?

Well…

Wellllllll…

I’ll get to that.

A little history: the Blue Cross Broad Street Run has been in existence for 36 years. It boasts that it’s the largest 10 mile race in the USA and I sure can believe it! The results page shows that 41,511 runners participated and the numbers on the bibs went into the 43,000s. That’s a lot of people. And it’s a lot of Philly love through and through.

The crew!

The crew!

We were in the pink corral, which is the very last corral, for those expecting to finish in 1:45 or longer. Which is exactly what category we fell into (the “or longer” category). During training runs we kept Jay’s pace, which put us at an exact 13 minute mile pace. Joining us for this run were two friends who I’ve known since flowered baby doll dresses were in fashion and running was uncool: Keri and Chrissy!

Chrissy, me, Keri

Chrissy, me, Keri – never ever forgetting to be awesome!

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This sums Chrissy up quite nicely. “Want to talk on a banana phone with me?” “Hell yeah!”

Since Broad Street is a point to point race, we parked near the finish line at the stadiums and took the Broad Street rail line, which is free for runners on race day, to the start staging area.

We got there in plenty of time and were able to use the porta-potties and take the above pictures without feeling rushed. When you’re in the Pink corral, it’s a lot of “hurry up and wait”.

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Ahhh, the Pink corral. Let me set the stage. You’re so far back from the start that you can’t actually hear the start of the race. No Star Spangled Banner for us and no clue of what’s actually going on up at the start of the race. So yes, a whole lot of cluelessness. We stood (im)patiently, waving to the helicopters circling overhead and entertaining ourselves.

In 2013 I started in the Pink corral and we got to the start at 49 minutes after the start. This year we started at 59 minutes after. More runners? More people in Pink? Not sure. But after one last stop at the porta-potties, we were off to the sounds of Weezer (anyone who knows me knows just how much this thrilled me).

I'd never been so excited to see a START line in my entire life.

I’d never been so excited to see a START line in my entire life and that’s a fact.

Jay’s plan, so subsequently OUR plan, was to run the first mile and then switch to 2:1 intervals. And run he did. That dude clocked a 10:30 the first mile. I asked him about twenty times if he knew how fast we were going (because it was definitely faster than his normal mile pace) and he either wasn’t able to hear me over his music or he was ignoring me.

I’m going to go with the first thought.

We hit the mile mark quickly and then switched into the 2 minutes running, 1 minute walking.

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The first five miles were flawless. We kept a solid averaged 12:20 pace after that first speedy mile and everything was going swimmingly. Runningly? That. We were cruising and everyone seemed as happy as running people could be.

2/3 smiling!

2/3 smiling!

There were bands. There were cheer squads. There were children outside of the children’s hospital again, waving and smiling and cheering from their wheelchairs. City Hall was becoming a more real sight and less a speck in the distance and it’s incredible.

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Walking with purpose. Look at the swoosh of my Sparkle! ;)

Walking with purpose. Look at the swish of my Sparkle! 😉

The Broad Street Run can be separated into two parts. Running toward City Hall (which is AWESOME) and then the after City Hall part. Which, I think, is still awesome. But that’s when you really start feeling the race. Mile 6 our pace slowed up a bit and our aches started to make themselves known.

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Personally I’m dealing with another bout of plantar fasciitis, which in no uncertain terms, BLOWS. It flared up during my last training run and here I am, dealing with it again. I was feeling it. Jay hips weren’t lying when they said they were feeling awful. Chrissy’s knee was acting up. And Keri’s shins were making a bit of noise.

So, yeah.

Thankfully the crowd support was just as awesome the second half as in the first half and we relied on that to help get us through those tougher miles.

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To really see all the signs, click on the pic. They were the best!

The water stations increased in the second half, which was good because it was pretty toasty out there. We haven’t had many hot days to train in so this was a little different than the weather we’ve been used to but the additional water and the occasional fire hydrant open helped cool us off. The cups on the street were a little slick, which comes along with a race as large as this one and not being able to clear them all.

The entire race Chrissy, Keri, and myself spent surrounding Jay – his own personal sparkling cheerleaders. Since Jay was plugged in to his music, we chatted along the way, pointing out cool sights and fun stuff. I hadn’t seen Chrissy in years before this weekend so it was really great to catch up! Yet another bonus of running 10 miles together.

You’ll notice that there are less pictures of Jay here. That’s because he was not thrilled with life. I took a selfie with him at one point. I’m not going to post it though because he just looks miserable. In fact maybe I’ll delete it from my phone and he’ll forget all about that feeling. Maybe?

The first part of the race has City Hall to focus on, while the second part has a slightly less visible sight, until you’re right there. The Navy Yard sign.

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Hello, you beautiful vision!

It signifies that there’s only about a quarter mile left so we were pretty jazzed to see it! Or I was pretty jazzed. I think Jay was saving his excitement for the finish line.

What's a Navy Yard without a ship?

What’s a Navy Yard without a ship?

As we drew closer and closer to the finish, I kept looking to Jay to see if he was ready for the sprint to the finish line. Once we were close enough, he took off like a shot and I knew that he was looking forward to wrapping up!

His goal was to finish under 2:15. His reach goal was 2:00. Had we kept the same pace we did the first half, we would have hit 2:00. We finished in 2:11 which is exactly 13 minute miles – training run pace held true. We high fived each other at the end and cheered our accomplishment. Some louder than others, natch.

We walked down the chute wondering exactly where we were headed. There wasn’t much guidance at that point. We continued to walk, in search of water, food, medals, something. Finally there were tables with water bottles. Then tents with bags of food and pretzels.

The volunteers were handing out the bags of food and the medals were nearly an afterthought. It was a bit odd. I understand not wanting to crowd the finishing chute with medals but I was surprised that they didn’t have more of a comprehensive flow in that regard. Eventually we got everything sorted out!

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On the long walk back to the car I made a teeny tiny comment about signing up again next year and sheesh, you would have thought I told Jay we were running another ten miles the next day with how quickly he said NO. So I guess he doesn’t want to do it again. (I think he forgot that we already registered for Beat the Blerch 10k in September.) (I’m not reminding him just yet.)

Our car held a glorious cooler filled with delightful beverages so once we finally got there we planted ourselves in the parking lot and relaxed, waiting for the crowds to disperse.

He longs to be close to me. That's why that finger is reaching out there.

He longs to be close to me. That’s why that finger is reaching out there.

So, it’s over. But if I get in via the lottery, I’ll be back, Broad Street! You can count on it.

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Have you ever done the Broad Street Run? Or a ten mile race? How about coerced your significant other into doing something they wouldn’t normally do? 

18 thoughts on “The Good Life – Philadelphia’s Broad Street 10 Miler

  1. Wow, this race really put things into perspective! How many corrals were there? I only did one 10 mile race and that was disney’s tower of terror. I finished in 1:40 and I was pretty pleased with that considering it was in the dark. I guess even that race time would have put me in the back of the pack for the Broad st, womp womp! I would like to do this one day, it seems like a fairly flat course, no? I had no idea it was a lottery. Yes, I made my husband do a Disney 5k once. He “said” he would do another one but I really don’t see that happening! ..lol. Great recap!

    • Hey Meranda! There are 9 corrals, that’s including the push rim and elite/seeded corrals. It’s a huge race. Well-run for the amount of people that do the race but you sure can feel the largeness of it at times. 😉 1:40 is great for a 10 mile race, I would love to hit that at some point. I’m guessing you’d probably be in Yellow with that proof of time. 🙂

      There are a couple of small hills in the first few miles but generally speaking it’s mostly a downhill event, which is why so many people love it. The course record is 45:14! Crazzzzzy!

  2. I couldn’t believe that the start time was such a long wait! I was only one corral up from y’all (and had I known how long it would take to actually move…I would have sought you guys out. womp. womb.). Still, once it got started, I loved the race. Well, until mile 7. And then I endured the race. Ha! Such a fun run, though. Was a bucket list run, and I’m happy I got to do it!

    • I didn’t realize that you were just one in front of us, Megan! Honestly though, we were toward the back back of the Pink – hanging out with the garbage trucks. LOL I heard that the race started a bit late, which could have explained the extra long wait. So glad that you got to check it off the bucket list!

  3. Awesome recap! Your husband did a great job finishing even if he didn’t enjoy it. I think the Broads are going to try the lottery next year.

    • Woohoo! I would LOVE to see the Broads there if I’m able to get in again. 🙂 And if not and ya’ll are there, I would come cheer.

  4. This one is on my list. 🙂 we need to go see the husband’s side of the family. Right?
    I talked him into accompanying Miss E for a fun run. She left him…lol. He said one and done.

    • You definitely need to see your husband’s side of the fam, it’s been far too long. 😉 I think that my husband might stick with shorter distances now. I’m not mentioning running ever again to him unless he brings it up first.

    • Oh Maureen, but the walk back was TORTURE. Everyone was hurting and it was slow and just blahhhhhhh. But then drinks so, you know, I was happy. 😉

  5. The Broad Street Run was definitely tough this year! I trained a lot but for some reason I think the sun got to a lot of people. Congrats to you and your husband on a good, tough finish! My bf left me in the dust and managed to hit the time goal I wanted WITHOUT training. Love him but he’s a butt, haha.
    The finish area is SO frustrating. I know it’s huge, but I feel like big races such as the RnR Half have just as many and manage to still have the water and medals RIGHT when you finish. They really need to work on that!

    • Way to go Krissie! The race was rough and I knew that once it started heating up my husband’s pace was going to fall a bit. But given it was his first long race ever, I think it’s a win! We were talking at lunch yesterday and he said, “How were you SMILING? How did you look like you could keep going?”

      I was very confused by the finish line. I don’t remember it being quite so confusing the last time I did the race. Whatever they were going for this year didn’t work.

    • I write like I speak, I think! I wish we were actually talking though. That would be way more fun. 😉

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