This Sunday, May 4th, I will run my third Broad Street Run 10 Miler in Philadelphia.
Historically, this is not my favorite race. It can be hot, and is always crowded. It can be inconvenient to get to the start, and difficult to leave the finish.
However, in the spirit of racing fast this year, I entered the lottery to see if I could crush my 2010 PR of 1:25:49. Additionally, I live very close to the race's namesake, the Broad Street Subway line. As a result, it will be much easier for me to get to and from the race this year than in previous years.
Despite its inconveniences, there is something inherently special about the Broad Street Run that screams Philadelphia like no other race. This is not the rose-colored glasses version of Philly that the other big races show, looping blissfully past the Liberty Bell, Independence Mall, and down tree-dotted Kelly Drive. Broad Street means packing like sardines with thousands of other runners on the subway to the start, and Sunday morning church-goers cheering from their stoops in North Philly. It's spectators cowbelling and heckling at City Hall, and runners dodging garbage in South Philly (that's my 'hood, I'm allowed to call it like I see it.)
My race plan for Broad Street is to PR...by a lot. More specifically I'm shooting for sub 1:22 which, based on my half marathon time from March 30, I should be capable of running. It will depend on the temperature, since I haven't run in the heat much this year, but so far, things are looking pretty good for Sunday.
My other plan for for this race is just to take it all in. There is nothing that makes me feel more Philadelphian than embracing the real culture of our city, and that includes high-fiving as many people as possible along the route. And of course, grabbing a cup of beer, if offered.