Broad Street has quickly become one of my favorite races that I do each year. There is something about the 40,000 people that makes it special. But with those 40,000 people it is hard to concentrate on your race and it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. Here are some tips from my experiences to have your best time ever and to show up at the starting line on time.
- Know how to get to the start.
Since this is a point to point race parking is weird. Luckily you have a free ride on the broad street line. I recommend parking in the sports complex and taking the Broad Street line up to Olney.
If you park in the middle of the city (like Eryn and I did last year) make sure you know how SEPTA works. Luckily I was on SEPTA when I was partying in Philly ONCE, and I remember what train I wanted. It was the only time drinking helped me in life.
- Get to your Corral on time, but know the race always starts late.
If your taking SEPTA from the start get on the train BEFORE 6:45 or else! Trust me, this is something you need to live by. However don’t plan on starting at exactly 8am. Even if you are the first corral, be ready for everyone from the city of Philly getting a turn on the mic. If you are the last corral… bring a book.
- Hundreds of porta-potties but 40,000 runners… Bring emergency TP
Let’s do the math, 100 porta-potties, 40,000 runners ew. Again, unless you get there first, you should probably bring an emergency supply of toilet paper with you. You don’t want to be stuck with nothing… and if you bring enough you might make friends fast.
- Bring a throw away shirt, THE MORNINGS ARE FREEZING (especially if its raining)
The first year I ran Broad Street it was 40 degrees in the morning, but 60 at the finish. You can bet that I brought a throw away sweatshirt and still only stood in sunny areas. Last year it rained and it was straight up miserable. If I did not have a poncho forget it I would have murdered someone. Long story short, bring something to stay warm your extremities will thank you.
- Yes it’s downhill, but there are some uphill parts
Don’t rely on the fact it is downhill when you line up, there are some uphill portions and if you are not ready, they will get you. After mile 4 you are basically on a straight away, but up until then there is still work that needs to be done with some inclines.
- Take pictures on course, but get out of the way
Nothing makes me Hulk out more than when a runner stops right in front of me to take a selfie. Maybe I’m jealous because my front camera is cracked, or maybe it’s because I don’t like stopping short and tripping over you. I’ll let you decide which one it is.
- NEVER trust a puddle in the middle of the course
Last year it poured. Cats and dogs, inches per hour, it was horrible. Mid race I could not move to my left or right and I was stuck running into a puddle… this puddle went to my mid-calf and if I wasn’t paying attention it was probably a hole that could have been an ankle breaker. The take away here, don’t trust any puddle or any hole on course, avoid them like the plague.
- Don’t forget to hydrate!!!
This should be a two part point, don’t forget to hydrate in the days leading up to the race and don’t forget to hydrate on the course. Hydrating is super important for your overall race, it could even help you to a PR, just don’t forget to hydrate!!
- The Navy yard is the end… But not really.
As soon as you hit the Navy yard the bulk of the crowds start and it’s glorious. But it’s not the end. There is still about a quarter mile left until you cross the line. When you see the arch for the Navy yard in the distance don’t start your sprint, you will be unpleasantly surprised.
- SOAK IN THE CROWDS
They are there for you. High five all the kids. Tap for power in all the spots, if you can run without headphones do that, it’s amazing the energy and unity of the crowd. When you get to the Navy yard get ready for yelling. It will be loud, it will be awesome, soak it in.
- Make a meet up point with your friends and family
- 40,000 Runners all going to one point what are the odds that you find your family without trying? Make a plan, meet up by the Dunkin Donuts tent or maybe the water station. Have somewhere planned in case your phone dies, or something else happens. You never know.
- HAVE FUN!
This is the largest 10 mile race in the country, besides for running your second objective is to have fun and you will!!! Smile as much as possible, don’t forget to hydrate and have all the fun!!!