By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 40,000 runners laced up their sneakers on Sunday to tackle the ten miles down Broad Street for the 36th annual Broad Street Run.
While some were running for health, sport or bragging rights, others took the trek for a cause. Dawn Roberts is a running coach for Team Determination, part of the American Cancer Society. The nonprofit has partnered with the Broad Street Run for may years, and for Roberts it’s personal.
“My dear friend passed away from breast cancer,” she said. “And I should say that all of us are running on behalf of mothers, fathers, sisters, aunts, beast friends, survivors, as well as people who didn’t make it today.”
Kevin Verbrugghe, Godfather to Shane Montgomery, who tragically was found dead weeks after leaving a bar in Manayunk early Thanksgiving morning, has run with the Philadelphia Police Department’s team for 23 years. He was on hand this year, sporting a button of Shane.
“Today is a special day, obviously with my Godson in my heart and in my soul,” Verbrugghe said. “Shane’s father, Kevin, he offered me a ride on his Harley. He figured together we could probably win if I was on the back of a Harley.”
Richard Washington of Bringing Everybody Together was one of the many folks helping keep the runners in tip-top shape.
“We have a water station about a block up,” he said. “There are number of our young people and adults who are coming out to just serve. Runners or anybody who wants to come grab a cup of water can grab a cup of water, we’ll smile at them, hopefully they will smile back, and they can keep on going.”
Mayor Michael Nutter was on hand at the starting line, high-fiving and cheering runners on with family and friends who lined Broad Street to offer support along the way.
In addition, organizers invited high school bands, drill teams, church choirs and other groups to perform at various points along the course that stretched from West Fisher Avenue in Olney to just inside the main gate of the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.
Once they reached the finish line, runners were able to enjoy food, massages and music. Kids also had fun, with rides, magicians, face painting and a petting zoo.