Last Minute Broad Street Run Tips
The Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run in Philadelphia is one of my favorite races. I’ve run in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Last year, I was burned out and spectated, but I do plan to run again this year. Spectating always brings a new perspective to a race, so it was fun to join my mother in law, as well as thousands cheering along the way. After spectating, I can write even more Broad Street Run Tips. The Broad Street Run 10-mile race itself is enormous and the biggest 10-mile road race in the country. It’s my favorite Philadelphia race, so it makes sense I write a few Broad Street Run Tips.
40,000 runners packed into 10 miles is a lot different than 50,000 packed into 26.2 like the NYCM.
Many locals asked if I could put together a few Broad Street Run Tips about racing.
Philadelphia Broad Street Run Tips:
Broad Street Run Tip 1: Get There Early:
Getting there early isn’t limited for a Broad Street Run Tip. Of course, you don’t want to miss your goal race! Even though there are plenty of bathrooms at the Broad Street Run race start and high school, it’s a big race so expect to wait in line at the start area. The race begins at 8 a.m. for the red coral. The corrals go off about 5-10 minutes apart, so most people don’t leave right at 8 am.
The transportation situation is honestly one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the entire race. If you are traveling to the start alone, it’s easiest to park at the Citizens bank stadium lots and either take the Septa line or one of the bases. There are PLENTY of subways to get all racers to the starting line. Parking is not a big deal because of all the lots, but I cannot stress how important it is to Broad Street Run early.
Subway trains begin running at 5:30 a.m. They will even run direct express trains on the Broad Street Line. If you are coming from Center City board the Walnut/Locust stop.
When I mentioned early, it is best to board a train around 6:00 a.m. It does take about 35 minutes for trains to reach the start with stops, and there will be lines for restrooms once you are there,
Broad Street Run Tip 2: Don’t Forget Race Day Essentials:
I feel like this is always good advice but don’t forget everything you need. If doing a flat lay on Instagram helps you remember, then, by all means, do it. I think I need to go that route because I always forget something to local races.
Broad Street Run Tip 3: Bring a Throwaway Top:
This year the weather is looking good, and maybe rainy, but it does get cold if you are waiting around in line. In 2016, it was 40 degrees and pouring rain, and it was awful to wait around! All discarded clothing is donated so you won’t feel bad. With the current weather predicted, light rain and 50s I’ll wear a light jacket to at least throw away. Always bring clothing that you don’t mind parting with.
Broad Street Run Tip 4: Unless you are in the Red corral or an Elite, you don’t start racing directly at 8 am:
Broad Street Run divides runners into corrals based on speed. The time between each corral is about 5-10 minutes so plan accordingly. Even though you may not start at 8 am, the roads are closed, and it becomes increasingly difficult to get to the start the later it gets.
Broad Street Run Tip 5: If you have spectators watching, know where they are:
On a beautiful day, thousands of people spectate. It can be difficult to find your friends and family if they tell you somewhere around mile 7 or 8 (or wherever). Some notable spots at the Broad Street Run are Temple University, North Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, City Hall, and the Navy Yard.
Broad Street Run Tip 6: Stay hydrated:
With 40,000 people running the Broad Street Run, water stations get crowded, and most people stop to walk. Pay attention and don’t fall (believe me a tailbone injury is not fun). Around the water, stations are slippery and sticky from hydration, Gatorade, and GU.
Broad Street Run Tip 7: Don’t Stop at the Navy Yard:
Many people think the gates at the Navy yard is Broad Street Run finish line. It’s not, and you have about a quarter of a mile to go. The quarter of a mile feels like forever but you’re almost done. If you are a spectator, refrain from saying “almost done”.
Broad Street Run Tip 8: Pick a Meeting Spot at the Navy Yard:
Last year, we spent nearly 90 minutes trying to meet up with my father in law. The end can be a “dead zone” for cell service so find a spot to meet people. Make sure you have established this beforehand. There is a map of the finish line area here.
Broad Street Run Tip 9: After the Race, you Will Walk:
You don’t finish right at your car and typically, I’ve had to walk between 1-2 miles to get back. No big deal, but be prepared. I remember after finishing the NYCM several years ago, my body could not handle walking the amount afterward. In 2016, you were walking around the Navy Yard in the pouring rain.
Broad Street Run Tip 10: Finally, of course, Have Fun:
It’s running! Unless you are competing for prize money and racing Broad Street 10 Miler is your job, make sure to have fun. At the end of the day, it’s one of the most iconic races and the most iconic in Philadelphia.
If you are looking for the “best” races in Philadelphia: consider the Broad Street Run (May), RnR Philadelphia (September), Philadelphia Half/Marathon (November), and the Philly 10k (August).
Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.
Questions for you:
Have you ever raced the Broad Street Run? What is your best Broad Street Run Tip?
What is the biggest race you’ve run?
Great tips! I’m running my 7th Broad Street Run on Sunday. Hope to see you there!
Oh my! I like a mid-sized race: one where I am not running alone (since I run 12 minute miles, it can be lonely in tiny races!), but also one where the logistics aren’t super complicated and anxiety inducing. My ideal race size is probably NJ Marathon/Long Branch sized. 40,000 for only 10 miles sounds crazy!!
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