- 10 miles
- Road Race
The 2017 Broad Street Run was my 4th year running. As I posted on social media, every year I think will be my last and then I am sucked back in (more on that later). The Broad Street Run is not only the largest race Philadelphia has to offer, but it is also the largest 10 miler in the entire country. The race gets over 40,000 registered runners. So it’s kind of a big deal.
The course is the same every year. Starts in North Philly and is a 10 mile straight shot down broad street until you get to the Navy yard. You pass through almost every section Philadelphia has to offer. And the course elevation is primarily flat with a good portion being slightly downhill. This is the only course of it’s kind in Philadelphia, so if you’re an out of towner with only one chance to run Philly, this is the race you must choose.
Not only is the course a lot of fun, with a lot to see, there are also tons of spectators. If you’re looking for a course where it feels like you are in a legit parade, this is the one for you.
Unfortunately this race does have a few drawbacks. The start and finish line are 10 miles apart, so you need to plan for that. The most popular route to get to the start line is the Septa Broad Street Subway line. Unfortunately it feels as if every runner chooses this option. This year I had to wait an hour for a subway car. Not because they weren’t coming, but because every time a car came, it was so full I couldn’t get on. I ended up getting one that got me to the start line 5 minutes late, and I began looking for a subway car a full hour and a half before the starting time.
The finish line is just as packed. Since 40,000 runners are all converging on the same spot getting through the finish area is difficult. It takes a long time and you do not get any cell service to link back up with your loved ones.
I understand the logistic nightmare. It’s 40,000 runners trying to get through the same areas. I do not blame the race management on this because there’s not much they can do about it. But at the same time it is still an issue and part of the reason I tell myself I won’t be back. But then I run the course, experience the atmosphere and I am right back to signing up the next year.