Philly’s Broad Street Run – It’s Raining, It’s Pouring


But I wasn’t snoring! I was running 10 miles.

This year’s Broad Street Run was unlike years past. Back in 2013 I wrote, If Broad Street Were Easy, It Would Be Called Your Mom.

Last year I talked my reluctant runner of a husband into running with me and my childhood pals.

But this time? This time it was all about reminding myself that I have it within me to do difficult things. We all need that reminder occasionally.

So, here are a couple of facts about my race.

My goal was to hit under 2 hours.

I did not achieve that goal.

Were it a different day, weather wise, I have no doubt that I could and would have. But it wasn’t a different day.

It rained. A LOT.


Rain. All the rain.

That was the disappointing part. Whomp whomp, poor me.


My best time before this year at Broad Street was back in 2013 and that was in 2:04:48. This year I finished in 2:03:35. Not too shabby!

The race is point to point, starting near Central High School and finishing right inside the Navy Yard. As such, I always park at the nearby stadiums and take the Broad Street line (free on race day with a bib). This year I traveled in solo and planned to run alone, but knew that I would be very lonely leading up to the race.

And that’s where two rays of sunshine came through! I met up with Jenna and Julie, two of my fellow Team runDisney pals. Since all three of us were traveling to the start line solo, we decided it would be great if we could meet up prior and keep one another company.

Only the finest plastic ponchos will do for Broad Street.

Jenna, Julie, and myself. Only the finest plastic ponchos will do for Broad Street.

Arriving at the parking lot at 6:30, I soon found Julie (and her parents) and from there we met Jenna. The trains were one right after the other so we were able to jump right on and head to our corral.

The rain only seemed to worsen as we traveled underground and when we emerged from the stairwell, we quickly realized that there was no way to easily move around the sea of ponchos and umbrellas. Our plan was to meet up with other friends for a group picture but it was a no way, no how situation.


Waiting for the race to start was pretty miserable. Being in the last corral on a beautiful day isn’t bad. Being in the last corral in the rain is exactly what you’d imagine. Socks and shoes quickly get soaked, you get poked by umbrellas, and you can’t really hear people when you have plastic surrounding your head.

But it is a heck of a lot better with friends. You can laugh at yourself, question your sanity, and realize that you’re surrounded by other people who are literally just as crazy as you are. Plus, I kept reminding myself how the kids handled the rain during the Color-A-Thon.


Eventually we started inching our way up to the start. I ate my first Gu as we shuffled forward. I had my phone in a plastic baggie, in my Spibelt, under layers of clothes so I knew I wouldn’t be taking pictures on the course. It was survival mode, and by that I meant both myself and my phone.

From the get-go I knew that I would run the first mile straight and then fall into my 1:1 intervals. As such, I said goodbye to Jenna and Julie and set out to get it accomplished. We crossed the start line 57 minutes after the race started.

Fun fact, the winner this year finished in 48 minutes. We were still at the start line when he crossed the finish. Crazy!

The first mile was not as fast as it could have been. I usually bank my time to give myself a cushion for later on. However, my muscles were cold and stiff from standing in the rain for over an hour.

My pace was consistent throughout the race. In fact, I hit the 5 mile mark at 1:01:30. My 5 mile race a week before was 1:01:48. I tried desperately to pick up the pace the second half the race to keep the under 2 hour dream alive. I was running faster but walking slower during my walking intervals.

Oh, and I was sporting my poncho the entire race. At some point it spun around so that my hood was in the front and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it around. My mind apparently just stopped working and I really couldn’t figure it out so I left it.

Blame it on the rain that was fallin’, fallin’.

I have no pictures at the finish line so you’ll just have to trust me when I say, I was very happy it was over.


And happier still after I changed out of my wet clothes and got a beer in my hand!

Let’s talk some other good stuff… I was blown away by the amount of support that was out there. The people of Philly really do love to love and the amount of people that lined the streets with cowbells, pots and spoons, signs, and even children doling out the high fives was still more than I’ve seen at other races on bright and sunny days. There were bands playing and the amount of people at City Hall was comparable to the other two years I’ve done this race.

Just as impressive were the volunteers who were out there getting it done like it wasn’t even raining. They cheered loudly as we came through. At mile 7ish there was a volunteer chanting “Don’t stop, get it, get it!” over and over and the enthusiasm was contagious.

It. Was. Awesome.

Not everything is going to be easy and this race was a good reminder of that fact. Attitude has much to do with success and while I didn’t hit my exact goal, I’m very proud that I got out there, ran in the rain, and gained a shiny new PR!


I can and I will.

What’s really exciting for me is when I returned home from my race, my 11 year old told me he wanted to start running with me again. That is a really big deal! It’s been nearly a year since we’ve run together and while I do this for myself, I also do it to be a good example for my children. Needless to say, I can’t wait for tomorrow.

The Good Life – Philadelphia’s Broad Street 10 Miler


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?



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!


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”.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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? 

If Broad Street were easy… it would be called your mom!

In the Cinco de Mayos of years gone by there’s been sombreros, brightly colored flags, margaritas and Mexican beer.

This year? Running! (Followed by margaritas/beer for some. I just wanted food, which probably comes as no surprise.)

Vic as we headed to the subway station.

Vic as we headed to the subway station.

The Blue Cross Broad Street Run takes place in Philadelphia, PA and is a 10 mile race that has been held on the first Sunday of May since 1980. Unlike many other races, it’s a point to point race and most of the run is downhill (but don’t be fooled like I was, there are a couple of uphill points!).

The sports complexes in Philly are all near the end point of the race (the Navy Yard) and were open for parking. We, along with many other of the 40,000 runners, made our way there bright and early, Sunday morning.

Thanks to Brandi for this group shot of us outside of the Septa station.

Just a couple of our friends that ran the race! Thanks to Brandi for this group shot of us outside of the Septa station.

Runners were able to ride the SEPTA, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Broad Street line free of charge the morning of the race. There was someone at the turnstile checking bibs, which was the “ticket” onto the train. She’s got a ticket to ride. Okay, I’ll stop singing now.

It was a bit chilly early on so most of us were wearing throw away gear that would then be donated once we warmed up and discarded them to the side. The guy checking our bibs jokingly said, “I feel like I’m on Runners Gone Wild and you’re all flashing me!”

That’s us: wild and crazy runners! Sidenote: the shirt that I decided to chuck was my swim team shirt. From when I was eleven. Yes, it was time to let that one go.

On our way to the start!

On our way to the start.

The train dropped runners off directly by the corrals, which was quite convenient. Most of our group headed off to a different corrals so my partner in running, Moe, and I said our goodbyes, good lucks, and good races.

Getting there early, we decided to suss out the porta-potty lines and found it to be long. And winding. We decided to skip it and find ones on the course.

Moe and I situated ourselves in the last corral, which was the BEST corral. Because pink is the best color (besides purple and turquoise).


Broad Street is a notoriously fast course, with the course record being 45 minutes. My goal was to finish around two hours, which I thought was an achievable and likely goal. This was, by far, the largest race I’d ever participated in and I’m not a huge fan of crowds so I was a bit nervous. The nerves proved to be unnecessary as the corral I was in was comfortable and roomy.

With a field of 40,000 runners, the wait time to get to the start was expansive. In that time I stepped on a discarded GU Chomp (ew!), tripped over people’s throw away clothes, and tried to peer over a sea of people to catch a glimpse of the starting line.

I prayed for a good, safe race for myself and my fellow runners. The Philadelphia police presence was reassuring and visible throughout the entire race.


With the events at the Boston Marathon still being so fresh in everyone’s minds, Philadelphia saluted Boston by providing every runner with a heart sticker that said “From Philly to Boston with Love” which all of the runners wore.

The race organizers also encouraged the runners to wear red socks as a loving shout out to our friends to the north, as well. Red socks for the Red Sox. We ordered ours from ProCompression.


Thanks to Chick Vic for this shot!

Crossing the start line, we all chimed in to “Sweet Caroline”. I was a little teary as we started off (and I wasn’t the only one). Races are always a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me but this one, especially so, as it was my first after the Boston Marathon bombings. Never once did I consider not running but I suppose there will now always be a “what if” that niggles at the back of my mind; that was never there before a couple of weeks ago.

The clock read 49 minutes when we finally crossed the start line. This time I actually remembered to press start on my Garmin and we were off!



When we first looked at this map we thought that instead of water stations, maybe they’d have Dunkin’ Donuts stations. Alas, those were cheering zones.

And not soon after we were off, we were stopping at the first row of porta-potties that we saw. There was a short line, only about five people deep and while we had to wait a couple of minutes, it was worth tacking on the time at the start. Every other stop we saw for porta-potties had a line of at least twenty people (every time we saw that, Moe and I would pat ourselves on the backs).

broadtemplecheerThe crowd support along Broad Street was, in a word, incredible. There were no “quiet” areas; no places that lacked the cheering and enthusiasm of people. It was so motivating. A few people that stood out were the children at Temple University Children’s Medical Center, who were wrapped in blankets and had their nurses outside with them, cheering for the runners. All the emotions! I swear, I cried more on this race than any other.

There were also many children along the route, and can I just say that they were very excellent high fivers. Enthusiastic and hands outstretched, I zigzagged from side to side to make sure I could get as many as possible (while being aware of the runners around me).


Caught this pic of Moe in front of City Hall, mile 5 of the race. This was the YAY CITY HALL moment.

So, let me tell you a little bit about Philadelphia City Hall. It’s right smack in the middle of Broad Street! It marked the halfway point and as you circle around, you then wind up on the other side of Broad Street. This area was thick with people cheering. Can I say it again? Incredible!

I ate my GU as I walked through the water station. I decided that if I was going to be walking at any point during the race, I was going to walk with purpose. Chest out (no problem there), shoulders back, head high, smiling. And fast. I ran much of the time but during those walking breaks, I did so with speed and confidence. It felt great!


Along with the children (and their equally amazing adults), cheer squads, churches, bands – there were people with signs! I love me some race signage. I mean, really. These are incredible! There were also official high five stations, worst parade ever signs, and dudes in sombreros giving motivation (with beers in hand). Oh, and a giant IHOP pancake. I love a race where everyone is out to have a good time, especially the spectators.

By mile 8, I was wishing for another GU. Or a banana. Or fresh legs. Something. But at that point, I knew there was only two miles left. As opposed to the usual 5 I’m used to with half marathons. That thought perked me up and spurred me on.


The Navy Yard sign was just ahead and I knew that from there, I had a quarter mile left. I was very grateful that my trainer’s wife, Sarah, let me know that the sign didn’t indicate the end of the race! I did pick up the pace a bit when I saw the sign and from there, steadily increased through the finish line.

Finishing the race with high fives from military made my heart swell and my eyes tear a bit. Again! I received my  medal from a volunteer and then Moe and I were able to track down food. After getting food and water (which was blissfully cold!), we found Vic and my husband, who were waiting at our predetermined meeting point.

broadstreetmedalsVic finished about a half hour earlier and we came in just over two hours, which I was very happy with!


The cost of the Broad Street Run is low and the positive perks make it one of high demand. The most difficult part was exiting the parking lot after the race, which took both patience and perseverance (next year, we’re bringing a picnic along!). 2013 was the first time they did a lottery process for people to take part.

I was thrilled that I was able to run this year, it’s been on my bucket list since I first heard about it. I’m already crossing my fingers that I get to take part in next year’s race.

What’s the largest race you’ve every participated in? What’s number one on your race bucket list?

Edited to add: Here’s a link to Vic’s recap too!