Whether you’ve trained for months to run it or stick to cheering friends and family on from the sidelines, the Blue Cross Broad Street Run is a must-do for any Philly resident. In fact, the iconic 10 mile race, now in its 37th year, has become so popular with runners nationwide that there’s now a lottery system just to get in. This year, The City of Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation, CBS RADIO Philadelphia and numerous other organizations have teamed up to ramp up the race weekend fun with a two-day Race Expo, kids’ activities center and kid-friendly races, special appearances and more. Want to get in on the action along Broad Street this May? Here’s our guide.
What: The Blue Cross Broad Street Run is the country’s largest 10-mile race and has been enticing runners nationwide to hit the streets of Philly the first Sunday of May since the 1980s. The race starts at Broad Street and West Fisher Avenue, with a warm-up scheduled at the Central High School Athletic Field, located at Broad Street and Somerville Avenue. Want to stretch before pounding the pavement? A pre-race stretch will be held one hour before the start time.
When: Sunday, May 1st, 2016 at 8 a.m.
The Course: The 10-mile run begins Broad Street and West Fisher Avenue (near Central HS) then continues along Broad Street before finishing at approximately one-quarter mile inside the main gate of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Water stations will be available at numerous points throughout the race, and Gatorade will be doled out at four of those water stations (2.2, 6.3, 7.8, and 8.5 mile points). More than 300 portable toilets will also be located at the start of the race. Bands, choirs, cheerleaders and the general public are all invited to cheer from the sidelines, so expect plenty of motivation to finish out the grueling race. For more on the course, click here.
Looking to cheer someone on? There is limited bleacher seating at the finish line, but the Blue Cross Broad Street Run website recommends checking out the race from these key points:
• the start area near Broad and Fisher Street;
• North Broad Street along the Temple University Campus;
• North Broad Street at Callowhill near the Philadelphia Daily News Building;
• City Hall — West Side at Dilworth Plaza;
• Broad and Walnut Streets outside The Bellevue;
• South Broad Street along the Avenue of the Arts;
• South Broad Street at Carpenter (High School for the Creative and Performing Arts);
• South Broad Street at Jackson (South Philadelphia High School);
• South Broad Street at Bigler Street;
• South Broad Street at Packer Avenue, one block from Chickie & Pete’s;
• Broad and Pattison at the Sports Complex.
There will also be places for spectators to buy refreshments and merchandise at the Finish Line.
For more on where to watch, click here.
RACE DAY SECURITY
Runners will receive a clear plastic bag on pickup that must be used on race day. All items have to be visible within the bag, and no backpacks will be permitted at the start area. Buses will be available at certain points so that runners can have their items securely checked and delivered to them at the finish line. For more info on this, click here.
Also, bear in mind that runners must wear their official race bib on the front of their shirt. And don’t forget to fill out the medical info on the back of your bib in case of an emergency!
The Broad Street Run is offering a two-day Health and Wellness Expo at the PA Convention Center located at 1101 Arch Street. This is where runners can pick up their bibs, race info, t-shirt and ChronoTrack timing device. If you cannot attend the Expo, a fellow runner with proof of their identification may pick up your packet for you.
Appearances from the Eagles Pep Band, the Phillies Ball Girls and Phillies alumni are also scheduled. The Expo will be open on Friday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more info on the Expo, click here.
Parents can register children 12 and under for some fun at the Philadelphia Navy Yard starting at 7:00 a.m. with activities beginning at 7:30 a.m. Five dollars will get your child access to face-painting, caricatures, balloon artists, a moon bounce, petting zoo and music for families to enjoy. The first 750 to register will receive a commemorative gift. Active kids between 6 and 12 can also take part in the 16th annual Fun Miler one-mile race ending at the same Navy Yard Finish Line. Kids ages 3 to 12 can test their skills in “Kids Dashes,” with distance determined by age of the participant.
For more info on registering for family-friendly fun, click here.
TRANSPORTATION & LODGING INFO
Getting There: FYI, there is NO parking at the starting area. Guests are urged to park at the stadium complex if coming by car.
As always, public transit is a safe bet: Runners can show their official race number at a pickup spot to ride SEPTA’s Broad Street subway line for free. SEPTA will also provide express trains the morning of the race.
Shuttles will be provided to take runners back to their cars after the race.
For more info on getting to the Blue Cross Broad Street Run, click here.
Where to Stay: Ask for the 2015 Blue Cross Broad Street Run rate for special deals at these hotels.