You won’t see me featured in one of those Inquirer profiles on people who run Broad Street. I haven’t lost 100 pounds. I don’t run in honor of someone with cancer. I don’t have cancer. I haven’t run all 32 previous Broad Street Runs. I run for one simple reason: me. And because I can. Selfish? Maybe. Honest? Definitely.
It all started because of a woman. Or, more accurately, in spite of a woman. Flashback to a Wednesday night in February 2000. I had been a few dates, and went for the goodnight kiss. She said, “No. I’m not interested in that kind of a relationship.” That was rather crushing to me. I woke up the next morning feeling sorry for myself for about 30 minutes, and decided that it was silly and that I should start running again. Not sure how or why I made a connection between the two. I had always wanted to get back into running, and this was the catalyst. So that Saturday, I got a new pair of running shoes. Went out on Sunday morning, and had to walk about 1/3 of the way back. I started out overly ambitious. But I stuck with it, readjusted my running, and got ready for my first Broad Street Run in 2000.
What an unpleasant day it was. It was in the mid-80s at the 9:00am start, which was the last time the race started at 9. Things weren’t going well for me, as I clearly was not ready for the distance or the weather. Things also weren’t going well for the organizers: some water stops ran out of water and others ran out of cups. I carried a cup for over 2 miles, just to make sure I could get water. The end result was 1:43:28, for 4773rd out of 6666 total finishers.
Despite the bad day, I was really hooked on running. I got into training more, so much so that I finished the Distance Run four months later in 1:38:27. 5K longer in 5 fewer minutes. This showed what I really love about running: you get out of it exactly what you put into it. How well I run depends on only one thing: me. It doesn’t matter to me how well I place (in my age group or otherwise); the time is what counts. With improvements in time will come improvements in place.
For the record, my Broad Street PR is 1:05:42, in 2007 (459th out of 15,878 total finishers). This year will be my 13th consecutive Broad Street Run.