I love Philly. I have been there a couple times as an adult and it is one of my favorite cities. The food is fantastic, the people are friendly (except I’ve gotten yelled at in the same liquor store on two separate visits. Oops.), and I run some killer times there. Six months ago I had the pleasure of running my marathon PR on the streets of Philly three weeks after cramping up and falling apart during the NYC marathon. The Broad Street 10 miler was on my bucket list of races. My best friend from college Kim and her sister Vic have always coined this one of their favorite races so I knew I wanted in. It is a lottery system so you have to make sure you put your name in before the deadline. PS BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU CLICK. The cost of the race is $45 but I some how ended up spending $70. It’s been fun trying to figure out what I bought extra. Apparently I upgraded to a tech tee for $15 but we are still unsure of what my extra $10 went to. I will update you if I find out.
I left for Pennsylvania Friday afternoon. First up, I had a date night with my friend Caitlin in King of Prussia that consisted of dinner and shopping. I arrived to Philly Friday evening and spent the night catching up with friends. Saturday was a full day of fun doing touristy things like running the stairs of the Art Museum, visiting the Franklin Institute, exploring the race expo, and of course a pre race dinner. We only had about an hour at the Franklin and we spent it in the Sport Zone. This was SO MUCH FUN. You must visit this exhibit on your next trip to Philly. The expo was pretty average and it took about 45 minutes from start to finish. The highlight was a Turkey Hill ice cream sample and seeing some of my #tiuphilly girls.
The night before race day consists of checking the weather, laying out my race flat (also known as laying your race clothes in a pretty formation and snapping a picture), charging all of my devices, and lining up my beauty products for the morning including deodorant, body glide, sunscreen, chapstick, and foundation. Speaking of weather, I watched the weather religiously the days leading up to the race hoping it would change. I complained to Al about it on a nightly basis and this is how our conversation went.
Me: “I can’t believe it is going to rain the entire race.”
Al: “It’s only ten miles.”
Me: “When was the last time you ran ten miles, let alone in the rain.”
*End of conversation”
I used the “it’s only ten miles” for humor purposes the next few days when talking about rain, chafing, porta potty lines, etc.
Race Day. Ahhhh waking up to the sound of rain drops on your window at 6:15am. Sunday was very rainy and cold. Luckily after hours of deliberation and one last minute outfit change, I was ready to tackle Broad Street, rain and 49 degree temps included. I went with my Athleta Relay capris, my Athleta Striped Chi tank, and Asics NYC Marathon jacket. Vic’s boyfriend dropped us off at Subway and we climbed our way North on one of the most packed subways I have ever experienced. I have also never witnessed such a collection of trash bags and ponchos in my entire life. The subway ride was pretty long but I was just thankful to be warm and dry at this point. We arrive to the starting area about 7:45am, we checked our bag with our sweatshirts and rain jackets for post race (more on this later), and we headed towards our corral. We considered the porta potty at this point but you couldn’t even get into that area. So. Many. Bodies. I figured “hey it’s only ten miles” so I can hold it. We also didn’t realize we were in the pink corral so we had to hop the fence to get out of it and continue on our way to the green corral. We never actually made it to green corral because they did a weird configuration where the green corral jutted out to the side instead of staying in line with the rest of them. So we stood and waited and sort of just filed in at the end of the green corral. The positive was right before the start line there were some porta potties and a break in the fence so we darted out for a quick pit stop. No toilet paper of course but it was raining soooooo in the end it didn’t really matter. O the adventures pre race.
Time to get to work. My game plan was to run the first 5-6 miles and a pretty comfortable pace and then pick it up mile by mile. About 1/2 mile into the race, I found out Kim was running with me!!!! This was big news! Kim has always been my running inspiration and the reason I started running marathons to begin with. The fact that we were going to share our first race together (minus a hungover mud run in college) was so special to me. We talked, joked, and pointed out spectators along the way. I was so surprised how strong I felt and the times we were clocking off. I hydrated about every other water station and I took a Huma gel around mile 5.5. Things got a little congested around City Hall but once my Garmin clicked mile 6 I knew it was time to pick it up. My bestie Chelsea was standing around mile 8 so I used that to distract me over the next couple miles. I couldn’t believe how fast the time was passing and that we were over half way finished. Once we gave Chelsea high fives we began to kick it into high gear. Just before mile 9 I told Kim I wanted to go for it. Let’s see exactly what I was made of. There was one point where I was like “ooo dear goodness I don’t think I can do this” but then I told myself “YES YOU CAN”. Our last mile was a 7:36 and our official time was 1:24:11. My Garmin clocked our mileage at 10.05 which means we ran a pretty true course and had an average pace of 8:23. Crossing the finish line holding Kim’s hand will always be one of the most special moments in my running career and I am grateful we got to share my first Broad Street together.
While it rained the entire race, I was pretty comfortable in the rain and the colder temperatures. Post race was a whole other story. Once you grab your medal and meal bag, the reality of how cold and wet we were really started to settle in. Once we figured out where they were located, we headed to the bus to grab our dry clothes. We found our bus #29 pretty easily but there didn’t appear to be any organization of the bags on the bus. After several minutes (which felt like hours) we got our bag and immediately changed our clothes. Once we met up with Vic and her boyfriend (who we didn’t know was running) we began the journey back home. Then it was time for burgers and champs before heading to the Phillies game to watch them WIN! After the game, it was time to head back to NY. I reflected on my amazing weekend and lucky I am to be living the life I am. ❤
Overall synopsis, Broad Street is an absolute must run and I will be entering the lottery again. Pros: straight shot, mostly flat, and great energy. Cons: 40,000 runners mean crazy porta potty lines and a pretty congested course. We did end up bobbing and weaving throughout the entire course. Especially the last few miles where people were slowing down and we were trying to pick it up.
Did you have any races this weekend? Have you ran Broad Street in previous years? Let me know!