There’s something a little more special about running in your city.
Yesterday, Cinco de Mayo, the largest 10-mile run in the United States was held here in my backyard; the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.
I was very excited once I was picked to run this race, but once the date got closer, I became nervous because of its size, but that all changed yesterday.
The Broad Street Run Expo was a two-day event, held at the Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. I had to work on Friday, and so I went on Saturday. I found the expo to be well-organized, and because there were so many people there, at times it felt crowded. Every vendor there was out of red socks!!!
Picked up my bib (not even a minute in line!), then headed to pick up my tee and my goodie bag. Walked around and walked out proud that I had not spent a cent at the Expo. How did that happen? Maybe it was the excitement for the Phillies tailgate party that would soon follow.
Set my alarm for 4:30 AM, which was pointless; I never sleep the night before a race. It’s that nervous/excited feeling. I may have slept 3 hours, if that…
Left early, around 5:30 AM, (leaving my water bottle, bananas and iPhone case at home) and headed to the stadium. I’m glad I arrived early as it was not crowded yet. Walked to the Broad Street Line and a SEPTA worker was checking bibs, (which were your free ride pass) and the ride was about 25 minutes into the Olney Transportation Center.
It was freezing cold and windy, so I hung out at Dunkin’ Donuts to warm up with hot coffee and chat with fellow runners for a bit. Headed to the corrals and found a small group of runners sitting on top of the steam vents and I joined them.
The first corral took off at 8:30 and the pink corral, the last corral, took off at around 9:10. Funny how the clock on the starting line read 47:10 when we crossed it and the winner had already finished!! High-fived Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter at the starting line and was on my way.
I started off slow, annoyed that neither my Garmin was picking up a location or that my Pandora One was not working. The Garmin picked up a signal and kicked in after mile 2 and I just listened to my last half marathon playlist, no big deal.
It was great running past the houses and seeing people bright and early on their steps cheering on us runners. First three miles were not quite downhill but it was flat. I was still in pain, the cold weather wasn’t helping and it took me a bit to warm up. Signed myself up for runner tracking and didn’t get a text once I crossed the 3-mile marker, which left me wondering whether my chip was working.
Once we arrived at Temple University, there were bands playing on the sidewalk, including the Temple Owl mascot. Students cheered from their dormitories and it was loud and exciting! The best part was seeing all the children that were out and about high-fiving us.
A few more blocks and we would be at City Hall. We made that turn at City Hall and right at the corner of Penn Square and Market, in front of La Colombe Torrefaction, was a rock band playing loud, rocking the streets. I was hoping to see Todd Carmichael of La Colombe, but either he wasn’t there or I simply missed him. I’d tell him, “Dude, Corsica is simply genius!”
Right at the corner of Broad and Walnut, in front of the Hyatt at the Bellevue, was former Philadelphia Mayor/former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell who high-fived me on my way down. That was a nice little energy boost!
What would soon follow were a myriad of spectators, all with their signs and I ran those 3-4 miles simply laughing: “If Broad Street were easy, it would be called your mom!”, “Faster, faster, that’s what she said.” and so on…
Mile 8 and I felt like I’d hit the wall. My legs felt like iron and I couldn’t even open my package of Clif Bloks. Stopped by a water station and the man who handed me water said, “You can do it. 2.2 miles to go”, to which I replied, “Yes, I can do this!” I thanked the volunteers and went on.
Mile 9.5 and a quick glance to my right and there is Peggy, a woman who touched so many and who inspired so many of my Princess Posse friends. I choked up, gave her a hug and got a picture with her. She was in Disney when I ran the Princess Half Marathon but I missed her. She is simply the best spectator ever!!!
Enter the Navy Yard and I’m just a short 0.25 miles from the finish line, but these hips and knees hurt and that last 1/4 mile feels more like 5 miles, just never-ending! Crossed the finish line at 1:57:37. I didn’t have a time goal, I ran to enjoy my city and to have a great time, and I did. I’d be lying if I said that I had more fun at the Disney race.
Lindy with her ugly cry face at the finish line.
I hope to “win the lottery” again next year and run this with 39,999 other runner friends because I’d do this again in a heartbeat. Not a single second did I feel unsafe.
Look who I found on my way back to the car!!! Jog n’ Hog!!!
Thank you to everyone who made this happen.