This past weekend was the 36th annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run! I ran this race in 2010 and 2011, back when it was 10,000 people smaller and a bit simpler.
You could just register for the event back then and show up on race day. After, in 2012, it sold out in 5 hours, they went to a lottery system. Back in February, a friend from school who moved to Philadelphia last year convinced me to put my name into the lottery for the race and we both got picked!
I hit the expo on Friday and there was a crazy line to get our bibs. Luckily it went really quickly and died out later in the day. It must have just been a fluke at the time we got there. Everyone wanted to be early!
If you didn’t check your bib number, you could check it on a computer at a booth. Quick and easy. Then you got your bib and pins and went to find your shirt. There was an option to have a cotton t-shirt (included) or upgrade to a tech shirt ($15) at the time of registration. I got the lovely tech shirt. I ordered a women’s large and it is a bit big. I never know what size to get because all of the races vary so much in regards to women’s sizes. I really like the design though!
The expo was pretty fantastic but I forgot to take any pictures at all. Sorry! I got a pair of these awesome Newton sneakers for my near running shoes. The last pair I bought were too hard. I was wearing them at the expo so I had a good comparison and these Newton Fates felt lovely.
The expo has greatly improved over the years. Lots of great companies, other races to sign up for, samples, etc. I was pretty darn happy walking around!
I decided to stay the night at Emily’s house the night before the race so that Rob wouldn’t have to drive me to the start line. The Broad Street Run is 10 miles, straight down Broad Street, so they recommend you park at the finish and take the train to the start.
I always had Rob drop me at the start, which was pretty easy for me, but a bit of a hassle for him. I decided it would be easier to stay in the city. Boy was I wrong. The race start was at 8AM so we left around 6:30 to head to the train station to ride the Broad Street Line 20 minutes up the road. Well, because everyone else parked at the start line, the trains were PACKED.
We waited for 3 trains before the train stopped with the doors right in front of us and we just jammed our way in. We thought it was “full” but even people got on at the next stop after I took this photo. We were sardines. They weren’t running as many trains as we thought they would be, as there were about 3 trains in 20 minutes. I can’t complain too much though because it was free for everyone running!
We finally arrived and headed straight for the port-a-potties. The lines were really long but inside was clean and relatively fresh. Toilet paper was available so I didn’t need to use the tissues I packed. This was a huge improvement over 2011 (you don’t want to know how bad they were that year…). We didn’t even have to wait too long and made it to the corrals with plenty of time to spare.
The corrals were clearly marked with large colored flags. I was supposed to be in pink (the last corral) but Emily and her boyfriend James were in yellow so I snuck up with them. Sshhhh.
We all forgot to bring water but I had cash and we bough a $3 bottle off a street vendor who was walking around the corrals with a cart. Worth every penny! We drank the whole thing and we all had to pee again but didn’t have enough time… or so we thought.
Originally the race was at 8:30AM but then they moved it to 8. Well, I don’t think it started until 8:30 because our corral didn’t get to the start line until 8:50!!! We had eaten breakfast at 6, peed at 7:30, and stretched and drank water and then WE HAD TO WAIT. This was the biggest downside of the day. When you are preparing for a race, you try to time everything perfectly and this was a huge annoyance. On top of that, they didn’t have any speakers in the back corrals so we couldn’t hear or see anything going on at the start. Just a bunch of runners standing around wondering what was happening.
After the long wait, I had to pee for the entire first 2 miles before I caved and waited in line for a port-a-potty. Every single port-a-potty stop I saw had a long line but I guess that is expected with 40,000 runners. My calves were extremely cramped from all the standing around at the start line so I stretched a bit while waiting in line. That helped a ton and my calves didn’t hurt at all for the rest of the race. I just chugged along for those 10 miles, doing my run/walk thing. The best part about the route is when you run up to City Hall, it is quite a sight to be seen!
I saw this guy around mile 7 and his sign made me chuckle.
Rob couldn’t get into the finish area to get photos of me at the finish line because he didn’t have a clear bag. I guess we should have read the race booklet a little better. That is okay though because he found a nice shady spot around mile 9.5 to get his photo.
Run for the camera!
Another highlight of the race is that the finish line and finish area is at the Naval Yard. Who doesn’t love giant ships???
The finish line is only a quarter mile after the gate. Most of my race was spent walking and I averaged 15:25 minutes per mile and my official finish time is 2:32:25. I would have been happier with something under 2:30 but I had to stop several times and I just wasn’t feeling great. I still finished though!
Please excuse the hair…
I didn’t spend much time in the finisher’s area because I wanted to go meet Rob outside of the gates. I grabbed a $2 gift card to Dunkin Donuts and some free gelato from Turkey Hill. This stuff was AMAZING.
We also got an entire bag of refreshments right after the finish line and before our medals (this was confusing, I suggest putting the medals closer to the finish line). The bag had chips, a banana, TastyKake bars, candy. I love that they put the refreshments in bags because sometimes it is so hard to carry all of your recovery goodies post-race:
2011 Capitol 10K Austin, Texas – juggling all my stuff!
Also, there was only water, no gatorade, at the finish. Some sort of electrolyte drink would have been nice, especially because it was kind of hot out. There were a ton of water stops along the course though and I didn’t feel too bad after I finished. I found the ice cream to be the best recovery snack though!
Overall, I am happy with how this race went considering I had zero time to train for it. I am looking forward to when school is over and I have more time to put into my running and fitness in general. I am excited to have done this race again though! I’ll think about it in the future if I’m living near Philly still.