Broad Street Recap

7 May

Yesterday was the 33rd Annual Broad Street Run! While I will still whole-heartedly say that I am disappointed to not have participated as a runner this year, I am completely serious when I say that I had a great time as a spectator. My amazing husband, Alexei, competed in Broad Street for the first time yesterday morning. I decided that if I couldn’t run the race myself, that it was my wifely duty to support Alex in his quest to tackle the 10 miles of Broad Street ahead of him. We started our adventure Saturday by picking up our race packets (I picked up my bib and t-shirt as a consolation prize and memento for the year that I finally got serious enough about running to get my knee fixed) at the race expo and finished up at the finish line in the Philadelphia Navy Yard yesterday.

I love race expos; the runners, the energy, the swag, the running gear for sale, it all gets me going. All that being said, the expo for the BSR kind of sucked. Instead of holding the event at the Convention Center, which is pretty standard for running events in Philadelphia, they held it at Lincoln Financial Field. Logistically, it was a hot mess. They held the event on the concourse of the stadium, on the third (or fourth, I lost count) floor, and didn’t use the entire concourse. The line to get into the stadium was long and unmoving, and it continued that way all the way up the three levels. Other negatives about the expo: the concourse was crowded making shopping difficult, t-shirts and bibs were given out separately causing some confusion, and other than the t-shirt there was no swag. Positives about the expo: being around so many runners, feeling the excitement, and finding out my body fat level at the Independence Blue Cross exhibit.

On to the race itself! We got up at 6:30 and got dressed in our running gear. I wore my craziest running outfit for two reasons: A. even if I couldn’t run the race I was getting in the spirit and B. I wanted Alex to be able to spot me on the sidelines easily. This called for blue spandex pants with lime green swirls, a bright orange tech tee, and a lime green long sleeve running shirt. We pinned Alex’s race number to his shirt, and packed up the day’s necessities into my backpack. After toasting our cinnamon raisin bagels and smearing them with peanut butter we were out the door.

All of the racers were encouraged to use public transportation (we would have anyway, go green!) so the subway was full to capacity and then some. After our 25 minute subway ride we arrived at the starting line, and met up with fellow runners Amy and Heather. It was time to get Alex to his corral, do some stretches, take some pictures and wait for the “Runners up!” While standing around in his corral for a bit I realized that we were standing next to my former co-worker, Malika, who I haven’t seen in three years, small world! I gave Alex one last kiss and ran (figuratively) off the starting line so I could see him cross and send him on his way. Unfortunately, I did not spot him in the hordes of people crossing the starting line. I did, however, see my coworker’s husband, Dave, and chatted with Mayor Nutter while he high-fived all of the runners!

Once all of the runners crossed the starting line I was off myself. It was a race against Alex; only instead of running I had the unfair advantage of the Broad Street Subway line. I had a plan setup where I would see Alex at the Susquehanna stop (I had hoped to meet up with my coworker, Michelle), then again at the Ellsworth-Federal stop (where I would hang with my friend Sarah who was cheering on the Students Run Philly Style participants!), and finally meet up with him at the finish. Unfortunately, the subway had other plans. I realized that Alex was going to beat me to Susquehanna, so I stayed on the subway for one more stop and got off at Cecil B. Moore, which meant missing Michelle. I waited at Cecil B. Moore for a while, and grew anxious that I missed Alex here too. I was about to get on the subway when I saw him trucking up the street! We high-fived and I jumped back on the Orange Line to follow his progress.

My next stop was Race-Vine where I found Michelle and her adorable little boys, Nolan and Russell! We waited on the sidelines hoping to see her husband Dave. We were bummed when it became clear that Dave had beaten us to the stop. Once again right as we were getting ready to jump back on the subway Alex came along the course! Another high-five and good luck, and he was on his way. Our cheering squad headed for the underground with high hopes of beating the husbands to the finish. My next stop was going to be Ellsworth-Federal to find Sarah, and help her hold signs and cheer, but that silly subway was unrelentingly non-cooperative. After waiting for what felt like eons for the train I had to abandon my plan to stop again to head to the finish line.

Not only was the finish line was a solid mile from the last subway stop, but there were crowds like I never expected. With the mix of spectators and racers who had already finished the race I felt like a salmon swimming upstream. The crowd was completely against me, but I was determined to beat Alex to the finish line. I dodged and I weaved, and I may have perhaps run a tiny bit (shh!). It was worth it though; I beat Alex to the finish line by maybe three minutes! He was all smiles when he saw me at the end.

On the whole, the day was a great success. Alex did not run his best race, in fact quite a bit of it was not run, but walked. That being said, he finished, and he had fun. While I didn’t get to run at all, I had a great time traversing our city, and supporting my dearest one. We hobbled home together at the end of the festivities.

When all was said and done yesterday, I think I covered about 4 miles on foot myself. I’d love to say that my knee took it like a champ, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m feeling it today. My knee is stiff and a little sore. I can still walk without a limp, and I still mastered the subway steps this morning, but I can feel the after effects of being on my feet for too long yesterday. This intermediate phase is super frustrating. I don’t feel bad enough to stay in bed, but I’m definitely not back up to snuff yet. So I’m getting antsy. I’ll get there though. In fact, I’ve already started planning out my summer/fall race schedule in preparation, stay tuned for the details!

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