This past weekend I finished the Broad Street Run (BSR). The BSR is hands down the best race Philadelphia has to offer.
I cant emphasize those words enough. The BSR is Philadelphia. It is the one run of the year that gets the entire city buzzing. It is named the Broad Street Run because it is a 10 mile course that takes you through the entire city of Philadelphia, right down Broad Street. You start in North Philadelphia, make your way through Center City passed City Hall and finish in South Philly down by the stadiums and all those cheesesteak places you hear about.
Over 40,000 run this race. You read that correctly, over 40 THOUSAND. That’s bigger than the following marathons: Boston, Honolulu, LA, Marine Corps, Disney, Twin Cities, Houston, Ottawa and even Philly’s own Marathon. This 10 mile race is just as big as the Chicago Marathon and the only Marathon bigger than this race is New York. It is safe to say the Broad Street Run is the largest 10 mile race in the country. The city of Philadelphia buzzes the weekend of the Broad Street Run like no other race in Philadelphia.
This years race was overall a great time. My recap of each part of the race:
Pre Race Expo:
The expo for this race was fun. It was your standard expo; tons of stuff to buy, a bunch of local races selling discount entries and of course your bib pick up. The main difference is the branding that the BSR has done. They allowed you opportunities to buy hats, shirts, hoodies and more with the race logo on it. Like I said the BSR is one of the best races Philly has to offer, so it made sense that they printed clothes with their logo on it for people to represent the race in.
The course for the BSR is about as perfect as a course as you can get for this length. For the majority of the course it is flat and somewhat downhill. The beginning of the course starts out with a few hills, but for at least 60% of the course it is fast and flat. But the elevation of the course isn’t the only thing that makes it so great. The course scenery was amazing as well. It is a 10 mile straight shot down Broad Street until you get to the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. Along the 10 miles you pass by Temple University, the large skyscrapers that make up center city, the famous Row Homes from the Rocky movies in South Philly and finally the stadiums where the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers play. There is so much to see just on this 10 mile course. With 40,000 people the course does tend to get a bit crowded (especially at the starting line) but within a few miles it clears up.
And Philadelphia comes out for this race. The majority of the course is filled with spectators cheering along side everyone. If there are 40,000 runners on the course, there are probably another 5-10,000 spectators covering the sidewalks and cheering everyone on.
Overall I was very happy with my race. I PR’d last year by 7 minutes, and by doing so this is my 4th PR of 2015 in only my 3rd race! So far I have PR’d the 5K, 5 Mile, 15K and 10 Mile distance. The beginning of 2015 is starting off great and I cannot wait for the Chicago Marathon in October. This was also the first race I ran in compression gear for my legs. I was very happy with them and will continue to wear them in races to come. I found that my legs never really started to cramp up or get hurt. As a result I didn’t take a walking break during the whole race. So moving forward compression gear will be mandatory.
The only criticism I had was the finish line and getting your medal. As someone who prides himself on collecting racing medals I always like to make sure I get one. In most large races they have a handful of volunteers handing out medals as soon as you cross the finish line. This year you had to walk a long way and had to find the person giving out the medal. For me I found someone literally unwrapping them from a box and giving them to people who walked up to them. Unfortunately it was only one person so you had to huddle around the person with your hand out and wait a few minutes so he could give them out. I don’t know what they were thinking with this, but it made getting a medal way too difficult.
Overall it is an amazing run and THE race you should run if you ever want to run in Philadelphia.
Sights from race day: