By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter was joined today outside City Hall by officials from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and other dignitaries to kick off the countdown to Sunday’s “Broad Street Run.”

Some 40,000 runners will gather on North Broad Street on Sunday morning for the 36th edition of the Broad Street Run.  Parks and Rec deputy commissioner Leo Dignam (seated at left in photo) says the race has come a long way from its humble beginnings.

“When the Broad Street Run began in 1980 we had less than 1,500 runners — most of whom were men,” Dignam said today.  “Today we have more than 40,000 runners, most of whom are women.”

It’s now the biggest ten-mile race in the country — big enough to be televised this year for the first time.

The Broad Street Run begins at West Fisher Avenue, in North Philadelphia, and ends inside the gates of the Navy Yard.