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.
2011 Broad Street Run was my first distance run. With training and support from Team Philly, the run was simply magical. A passion for running was ignited with that race, so much so I signed up to participate in longer distance runs in the fall. Training went on full speed into the summer, until I sustained an ankle and finger fracture during a mud run. In the ER, the reality that I would not be able to safely train for the races I had looked forward to running began to sink in and it gutted me.
As I healed, I planned. When medically cleared to start running again, I joined Goals Fitness Boot Camp to work on strength and cardio fitness and eased back into running, starting with small distances gradually building up the number of miles. As I progressed, there was an improvement in my running pace and running became fun again; I missed that so much. By February, I began to believe that maybe I could dramatically improve upon my Broad Street finish time. I was thinking this was my comeback story; from devastating injury to PR glory at the 2012 Broad Street Run. Then I heard about Sherry Arnold and her story inspired me to become that much stronger. Via websites and social media came the awful news of Sherry Arnold’s abduction and murder during an early morning run. This struck home, as I often run alone in places I deem ‘safe’. Three days a week I’m out the door at 5 am for Goals Fitness boot camp session and often run alone after work along Kelly Drive.
On Sunday, May 6th, I will realize my comeback from injury and will dedicate this run in honor of the memory of Sherry Arnold. Sherry was a math teacher, wife, mother, and runner. In essence, she was one of us.Her tragic end galvanized people get out and run – stomping out fear and getting stronger one mile at a time. While I can’t change the past, I can honor her memory by facing my own running challenges and finding the strength to overcome them.