Broad Street Run
Yesterday I took part in the 10-mile Blue Cross Broad Street Run through the center of Philadelphia. Broad Street is the longest, straightest road in America and, I believe, was also the first road in the states to be paved for motor cars. Going from North Philly (and the end of the subway line) down through the center and around City Hall whilst the statue of William Penn looked down on us, we went straight down to the old naval docks and a reception with the Eagles, Phillies and 76ers stadia at the finish line. Seeing all the sights of Philly made me realise quite how much I'll miss it when I move on.
But, boy, what an experience. They had a record number of competitors this year - a whisker short of 14,000 - and the whole route was lined with supporters and good citizens of Philadelphia cheering us on. Particular highlights included seeing Governor Ed Rendell and Mayor Street, chatting to the eventual runner-up in the queue for the "porta-potties" at the start and being urged on with one and a half miles to go with the "Rocky" theme tune, forever linked to Philly. My time was 1 hour 27 minutes which, for the first time I'd run a distance quite like that, I was pretty proud of, especially with a stunning one week's training! It worked out at about 8:31 a mile and put me just inside the top third of male runners I think. I was a competitive runner till I left my mid-teens but seem to have got the hunger for it back now. I think I may regret having promised myself the London Marathon for next year though!