Today Heidi and I ran in the 30th Annual Broad Street Run through downtown Philadelphia. It was a 10 mile run that we have been training for, for more than two months now. The run set the record for the largest run of its distance with more than 26 thousand people showing up for today's event.
Kenya's Linus Maiyo and Jane Murage paced a record crowd of more than 26,000 to win Philadelphia's Broad Street Run in soggy conditions on Sunday.
Maiyo, 26, completed the 10-mile course in 47 minutes, 21 seconds, scoring a four-second victory over Worku Beyi of Bronx, N.Y. Murage, 22, defended her 2008 title with a time of 53:31, finishing 13 seconds ahead of Buznesh Deba of Bronx, N.Y.
The runners braved sporadic and sometimes heavy showers making for slick road conditions. Maiyo took the lead at about the three-mile mark but was closely trailed by Beyi until the last quarter-mile, when he broke away.
"The crowds were cheery and the course was flat. I loved it," Maiyo said. "This is my biggest win of the year and I'm happy about it."
The weather could have been better but the rain held off until the end of the race at which time it poured. Needless to say Heidi and I didn't finish in 47 minutes but we enjoyed the race nonetheless and accomplished all three of our goals; to finish, to run the entire race, and to finish in an hour and a half.
The main thing I took away from the race was the community vibe that runners have. Over 26 thousand people in one place and from my perspective there were no major issues. I cannot imagine too many other events that have that kind of crowd and don't have some fights or some kind of disturbance. In fact as I was running I was amazed at the propensity of people to come together. We as humans seem to highlight situations where we segregate ourselves. Situations where people categorize and exclude those who are not like them. That did not take place at this event and I would argue that given something people can believe in people are not prone to segregate and form small groups; they are drawn to each other. People lined the streets cheering on the runners, giving high fives, and celebrating the magnificence of the event. People of all age, color, religion (I would guess), and socially defined group were drawn to this event and they got behind the cause and spirit of it to support complete strangers. People want to become integrated, they want the cause, the cup is half full. It was pretty remarkable and a great experience and I look forward to my next run, but not necessarily training for the next run.