2012 Broad Street Race Recap
Yesterday, I had the pleasure to run 10 miles on Broad Street ending spectacularly at the Navy Yard. The running gods gifted the 40,000 assembled runners with perfect running weather – overcast sky with a crisp temperature. The Broad Street Run is in its 34th year and is America’s most popular 10 mile race. Yes, it is. Registration for this race sold out in 5 HOURS. Participant results from this year and previous years can be found HERE.
I could not wait for race day, as I considered this my comeback run since my accident during a mud run last year. Of course, this idea sat in the back of my head and added pressure to all my workouts. This is not a bad thing as it was a good motivator to get me out of bed at 4:30 am three days a week and to run more consistently during the week. Oprah Winfrey once said of running – “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.” Yesterday, I reaped a generous reward for all the months of training. I am so happy to report that I crushed my 2011 Broad Street time by 16 minutes AND recorded a new PR (Personal Record) for the 10K (6 mile) distance during the Broad Street run. So, not only did I set a PR for the Broad Street Run, I also recorded a PR for the 10K distance at the same time.
I have to admit I shed happy tears when I crossed the finish line and checked my time on my Nike Sportswatch.
If you are a runner or aspiring to be one, the Broad Street Run should be number one on your list of dream runs. The run brings out the best of Philadelphia and will always be source of pride for runners who step up to the challenge of running Broad Street.
So to recap this wondrous event, it is best to start at the beginning.
I decided to use my lunch break at pick up my race bib at the Lincoln Financial stadium. The race organizers provide a free shuttle service ferrying runners from Love Park to stadium and then back to Love Park. No need to ride the subway or drive to the Link – a huge plus in my book! What I thought would take an hour at most, turned into two hours. When I arrived at the stadium a line of runners filled all four levels in the stadium and wrapped around the outside of the stadium. I quipped it would take as long to get a race bib as it would to run the race. Eventually, I collected my race bib and tech tee and left the building. The expo was too crowded to peruse the vendors and I had to get back to work. The organizers may want to take a looks at the space available and rethink ideas for better utilization of the space.
A day of rest and no caffeine. I also created a new pre race tradition of movie day. Spent most of the day running small errands and trying to chill. At this point, I trained as best I could and wanted to run this race and not allow my doubts to run it for me.
To make the race day morning more zen, I put my outfit together the night before by pinning on my race bib, placing my socks in my shoes and having all my gadgets and fuel right in the middle of this. Since I’m usually dressing this early (4:30am) with one eyeball open, I find it far better to have everything together in one place. The less stress you can prevent on race day, the better your mood.
SUNDAY – RACE DAY!
My alarm went off at 4:30am and I bounced (yes, bounced) out of bed after a solid eight hours of sleep. I washed my face, brushed my teeth, dressed and was out the door by 5:10 am. I bet you are wondering by so early when the race does not start till 8:30 am. I have two reasons, the first being I was meeting fellow Team Philly members in center city at 6am to catch the subway to the starting area. The second being the race organizers have the amazing ability to make runners believe that if they are not at the starting area two hours early they will miss out on the start of the run.
Onward via SEPTA to the starting area at Broad and Olney. Have I mentioned how ridiculously early this was? However, this is a point to point race and taking public transportation is the most effective way to get to the starting area.
These shoes were made for running Broad Street! Cue chariots of fire…or not. Clearly I possess the superior shoe
Best running buddies ever. It is always better to share the Broad Street Run experience with friends and family. It is the stuff that makes a Hallmark channel movie of the week.
This area wasn’t even filled yet. I felt packed like a sardine prior to our wave start. If you have personal space issues, it is best to leave them at home for this race. The best part of this race is just prior to your wave start, the excitement and adrenaline is so palpable you can almost touch it. It is an amazing sensation, gives me goosebumps thinking about it. Honestly, you really have to be present to fully appreciate it – yet another reason to run Broad Street next year.
After 10 sweet, happy miles I collected my medal and soft pretzel along with dual Personal Records. The run is a net downhill course with one or two gentle rolling hills. I felt strong the entire run and let my body run this race. I did not look at my Nike Sportswatch, instead I focused on the upcoming mile and staying in the least congested areas of Broad Street. I made sure to round City Hall in the most efficient way and pushed my pace when needed and felt strong the entire run. In short it was the most perfect run – ever. I’ve been around the running block long enough to know that not every run will be perfect, but when it is, Oh My God is it good, so savor every moment.
Rocking the suntan-less legs post Broad Street run. The lessons learned from this race are few but important:
Always wear sunscreen.
Make sure to double check that you double knotted your shoe laces.
Running with friends is best way to experience the Broad Street Run.
Set doable fitness goals – running can help you achieve them.
Believe in yourself and believe in the run.
I hope you found this review helpful in your planning for next year’s Broad Street run. Next run will be the Oddysey Half Marathon on May 26th.