Every year at the Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run brings a new challenge. This year was the least amount I’ve run, and I was in the worst fitness I’ve been in going into the race. Worst, shouldn’t be read like a bad thing as I’ve been enjoying other things such as hiking and swimming.
I knew I wasn’t going to be anywhere close to the 1:01-1:05 I’ve run every other year, but that was okay. My dad drove up as he likes the Broad Street ten miler as well. This year, the weather was pouring rain. It never stopped, and in fact miles, 8-10 rained harder. It was warm rain, so it was mentally difficult to decide if I wore a jacket or not. Ultimately, I did, and I’m still not sure it was the best idea. Although with the wind, I know without a jacket I would have been cold.
We got to North Philadelphia and high school around 6 am. Broad Street is a 10-mile race straight down Broad Street, so you have to take transportation up. With 40,000 runners it’s imperative to be early. We made it up to the start line by 7 am. Once we got out, it was pouring rain. Like any significant race, you have to wait around. So we waited around the start area for an hour. It was cold and rainy.
I found my way to the corral around 7:50. I had an elite bib, but I hadn’t run anywhere close to a time to qualify me there for about 8-9 months. I wasn’t going to start there and started right at the front of the purple coral. Purple was for anyone who wanted to go 1:05-1:10. I ran the Garden State 10 Miler in 1:08.30 so this seemed like the best bet.
Finally, we were off for the Broad Street 10 miler. The race starts are 8 am for the elites and red corral. I hadn’t started around purple before so it was a new experience being bumper to bumper with everyone for the first mile. You literally can’t move in any direction but straight.
The first mile went off without any note. I ran a 6:40 and I felt decent. My legs felt stiff. They didn’t feel ready to run hard, but I felt like I could run faster than the last 10 Miler.
Mile 2, I ran a 6:25. I was surprised it was that fast, but I was just running. It finally opened up, so I made more space to move. Not that I was weaving around, but I wasn’t running on top of anyone.
I told myself to get to mile 3. Then I would be 1/3 of the way there. I hit mile 3 in 6:38. It as too crowded for me to get any Gatorade, so I settled for water. I could have used electrolytes, but it is what it is.
The next two miles, I focused on getting to mile 5 of the Broad Street ten miler. Mile 5, is City Hall and brings a change of scenery. You run around City Hall and continue around Broad Street. It breaks it up, and by the time you’re through it, you’re nearly at mile 6.
In the last three weeks, I’ve run less, and I’ve only run 10 miles once. Most of my runs have been 6 miles, and I haven’t done anything fast since the Atlantic City Half. So it would make sense that at mile 6, I felt like I hit a bunch of bricks.
I ran a 6:56 and 6:51 and just kept telling myself to get to the finish line of the Broad Street Run. By mile 8, I told myself only 15 more minutes.
I knew one of my closest friends, Shawn, would be hanging around mile 9 and I wanted to be able to see her. Suddenly, I did! Instead of just waving like an average person, I slid over and high fived her. Maybe it cost me a few seconds, but I was over it.
We went under the Navy Yard banner at 9.75 and just powered to the finish. I crossed the finish of the Broad Street Run in 1:07.35. The race finishes in the Navy Yard and near the ships which I always enjoy. Then the after party is usually around South Philadephia and FDR Park.
I won’t say I’m thrilled with the time, as it’s over 2 minutes slower than any other Broad Street Run I’ve run. That being said, I haven’t been in the same shape, so I’m not surprised either. It’s starting my racing back into fitness. This summer I decided I’m going to run a lot of races and get back into fitness that way.
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Questions for you:
Have you run a 10 Mile Race? Have you ever done the Broad Street ten miler?
What is your favorite distance?