The Broad Street Run has been advertised as one of the fastest 10 milers in the United States.
The race is famously known as one of the fastest, flattest courses. The reason why is its so fast is because Broad Street runs from North to South, down the middle of the city and is gradually down hill. Starting at the highest elevation at approximately 161 ft down to 6 ft at the finish.
I know many people who have raced this course, but I have never done it because it requires some logistical planning (which terrifies me 😅). The race is a straight point to point run so you park at the finish and have to take mass transit to the start. This year a friend organized a jitney to drive 15 of us up to the start and pick us up at the finish. For $45 it was a bargain!
I took Friday & Saturday off from the gym, running, biking and swimming (LOL). On Saturday I spent a leisurely day going to a stretch class and then hung out with a friend. I didn't eat too much because quite frankly I was terrified of another triple port-a-potty day like Boston.
I slept fairly well on Saturday night. Woke up at 4:15 am to gather everything I needed and headed to jitney pick up. Very smooth. On the jitney everyone was saying how they were fun running because the course gets too crowded. It was weird to hear that because I know that a lot of fast times are run at Broad Street. I just remained quiet and decided I would take a wait and see attitude. I really wanted to send it as 5-13 mile races are my "sweet spot."
The jitney driver dropped us off at the start line. We took a group picture and then I went on my way to find my corral.
A couple of guys had reached out to me (who weren't on the jitney) to ask about running with me. I'm really a solo runner and the fact that I had no idea what pace I would be running (thought 82:00) led me to turn both of them down. I hit the port-a-potties, climbed the barriers and smoothly disappeared into the green corral. Last race at age 56!
It was a cool, crisp morning. 48*, no wind and sunny. I took my sweatshirt off and immediately regretted it. Brrr!
Each corral was released with about a minute in between. I was in the first big corral -- 1:20 to 1:30 finish times. Soon we were marched up to the front and I was about 20' from the start timing mat.
We took off and the course gently rolled downhill. From the start it was a bit crowded but we were all running at about an 8:00 pace. Exactly perfect for our corral. I got to the first mile marker with very little dodging or weaving. 8:00 flat (down 54'). As I ran through the 1 mile mark I realized I was really pushing it and wondered if I was going to be able to hold on for another 9 miles. LOL
The course to me was noticeably downhill but every once and a while we would come to a slight uphill. I just focused on slowing a bit and not blowing up my lungs. Miles 2-5 7:43, 7:43, 7:44, 7:46. (Ascents of 15'-22' & descents of 12'-46') My pacing was so bang on in this section. I couldn't believe I was holding these 7:40s and was worried I might bonk very soon. I took a gel at mile 5 and grabbed some water.
At mile 6 the course goes around City Hall. It is such an amazing view. A few people stopped and took a picture. Once I got around to the other side of City Hall I had fond memories of the Philadelphia Marathon in 2016. Mile 6 & 7 -- 7:40 & 8:08 (Descent 18', 6') It was getting hot! I regretted wearing my shirt and was seeking the shadier parts of the street. How can 50* feel so hot!
At mile 8 I wanted the race to be over! I was dying. It was not pretty! I took my 1st tiny little walk break and contemplated how I was going to be able to run 2 more miles! 8:02.
I kept calculating in my head how much longer I had to run. 2 miles = 20 minutes .... nope 2 miles = 16 minutes! I can do that! I finished up mile 9 ( 7:55) and started looking for the last right hand turn. Once I saw the stadiums I knew I was almost there. I had ZERO get up and go to sprint into the finish line. I gasped and wheezed my way over the finish line (7:47).
My final time was under what I thought I could possibly run.
1:18:47 (7:53 pace)
10/476 in women 55-59 AG
Holy cow! Frickin' cloud 9!
Some days you just have to send it and see where you land!
Best running group ever!