Get Ready for Broad Street!: Jenna’s Final Thoughts

Our health and fitness editor shares what it was like to cross the finish line after 9 weeks of training for the 31st annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run

I cannot tell you how amazing it is to run down the center of Broad Street with City Hall in the distance and hundreds of your fellow Philadelphians rooting you on from the sidewalks. All I can tell you is that—for the first 7 or so miles, before Sunday’s heat got to me—I have never loved Philadelphia more. It just seemed like everything good that our city is all about—passion, determination, individuality, and the know-how to throw a good party—was out in full force.

Throughout the 10 miles, I ran past rock ‘n’ roll bands and marveled at green Gatorade cups strewn en masse across the ground—a sight so strangely pretty that they looked almost like a modern-art installation—and waved back to spectators peering through windows, hanging on balconies, and lining the sidewalks. I ran through fine, cool mists from the city’s fire hydrants, and every now and then the kind person I thankfully received a cup of water from was dressed in a super-hero costume, complete with neon-bright tights. And throughout it all, waves of clapping, cheering and different variants of “You got this,” “Keep going,” “You’re almost there,” came from the crowds.

FINALLY, I crossed into the Navy Yard—a sign that there was only a quarter mile left in the race to go. And then, I saw the banner stretched out in the distance. Relief coursed through me, and, not long after, I was across. I’d done it! I had actually completed the Blue Cross Broad Street Run! Despite my exhaustion, I was smiling—and drinking tons of water—for the rest of the day.

The next day, I scouted out an issue of The Daily News. There, in black-and-white, was my time: 1:43:36. Even despite the oppressive heat, I had run very, very close to a 10-minute-mile pace the whole time. And for me—a non-runner—it feels like a great victory.

I am so glad I did it, and can’t thank Team Philly enough for walking me through it. And if you’ve ever thought about trying it, join me next year. Because if I can do it, anyone can.

To read my full race-day and training diary, go here.

Image: That’s me at mile 8 — tired, but still going!