Am I being melodramatic if I say last weekend’s Broad Street Run was the best one yet? Probably. But I’ll say it anyway and then ask that you take it with a grain of salt. The truth is, of the four or five times I’ve run the race, this is truly the race where the stars have aligned for a perfect race day. It seems that over the past eight years I have alternated Broad St with baby. If I have the order right it’s been Broad St, baby #1, Broad St, baby #2, Broad St and well, yes, baby #3. And while I did not run last year, I had friends who did and it was wicked hot. The year before it rained steadily the entire race. One year it was so steamy the finish line appeared out of nowhere, like a mirage. This year, however, was as close to picture perfect as it can get. No humidity, cool in the morning but comfortable by race time and most importantly, no rain or wind! Hallelujah!
The trek into Philadelphia was uneventful as well. A few of us carpooled from Mullica Hill and were able to make it to the start line with relative ease. Minimal traffic and a drop off right near the start. Perfect. Except…. How to keep the nerves at bay for a half hour until the start? Obviously a trip to the bathroom helped chew up 15-20 min and then after a few quick well wishes we all parted ways with promises of meeting up at the finish line a jaunty 10 miles later.
From there the morning flew. I lined up pretty far back in the corrals (I subscribe to the “pass a few people and feel fast” versus the “run with the faster crowd to speed you up” way of thinking), but I have to admit that next year I will be a little more honest with my intended finish (ah-hem maybe others should be too), as I spent most of the race bobbing and weaving through runners and never really settled into a consistent pace. It also took almost 15 min to cross the official start. Overall, not a big deal, but would prefer not so much down time between the official start and my chip time.
Some interesting sights along the way (not all of these were seen by me, but I’m still sharing because I think they’re worthy of mention):
~ best tee shirts ~
“Life is short. Running makes it seem longer”
“In my dreams I am a Kenyan”
“Run like a Mother”
~ a Charlie Sheen look-a-like, equipped with a bottle of Tiger Blood, a Charlie Sheen tee shirt and arm band
~ a barefoot racer
~ a runner in flip flops
~ a man running carrying two children
~ a man dressed as a ladybug (“just because” I overheard him tell a fellow runner)
And my favorite: 4 children in wheelchairs sitting outside Shriner’s hospital cheering, smiling and waving despite. Despite what I don’t know, but their smiles and encouragement gave me motivation and strength for the next several miles.
With Queen of the Hill tri sneaking up on me, I am pleased to have Broad Street behind me and anxiously look forward to this next phase of training. Stay tuned. One good race aside, I assume more hilarity, misadventure and 1st time tri experiences will ensue!