Broad Street Run Registration Will Move to Lottery System in 2013

Afraid you won't get a spot? Registration for charity bibs opens today.

I just got off the phone with Broad Street Run race director Jim Marino, who confirmed that registration for the May 5th race next year will be held by lottery—meaning, you’ll have a two-week window in February during which you can enter a lottery and then names will be selected at random for entry to the race. About 40,000 bibs, in total, will be available. The move is an attempt to alleviate at least some of the frustration created by last year’s record-breaking, five-hour sellout and help level the playing field.

“We want to avoid the mass confusion of last year,” said Marino. “There were so many people, like teachers and doctors, who couldn’t register in that period because they weren’t able to get to a computer. They didn’t have an equal chance.”

Broad Street veterans, don’t panic just yet. Right now, Marino’s team is busy compiling a database of all the runners who have ever participated in the Broad Street Run. Then, Marino says, he’ll extend an opportunity for long-time Broad Streeters to register before the masses, a thank you for their help in building the race. Marino says he hasn’t yet determined what will qualify a runner as a “veteran” for registration purposes; that will be decided when the database is complete.

In the meantime, if you want to guarantee that you’ll have a spot, you can preregister starting today with Broad Street’s charity partners. The biggest is the American Cancer Society, which is taking up to 750 runners who commit to raise at least $500. Locally, the group provides research grants, transportation for cancer patients, and a 37-room free lodging facility for patients at Fox Chase, among other programs. Runners can sign up here, and may give a “soft” commitment for raising the $500 minimum. Dan Lavelle, who’s running the registration program through ACS’s DetermiNation, says runners will then have up to six weeks prior to the May 5th race to make a “hard” commitment, at which time you’ll be locked in to raising the necessary funds. Once you’re locked in, you’re also guaranteed a race bib.

“Five-hundred dollars is a lot of money, so to alleviate the burden we wanted to open it now to give athletes the extra five months to fundraise,” says Lavelle. His group hopes to raise $575,000 through the Broad Street Run effort.

Runners who sign up through the American Cancer Society will get some extra race-weekend and race-day perks, including a “fast pass” to the front of the line for bib pickup at the expo and ACS-runners-only tents at the start and finish line —both equipped with private Porta Potties. Lavelle said they provided a few Porta Potties last year for their runners, but the perk proved so popular that they’re doubling the number. This year, they’ll have four Porta Potties at the starting line and eight at the finish.

The other two groups offering bibs in exchange for fundraising are Back on My Feet, which has 250 bibs, and Students Run Philly Style. The fundraising minimum for these charities is also $500. Cathryn Sanderson, Back on My Feet’s communications director, told me that as of 11:10, they’d already received 40 inquiries. Students Run Philly Style’s Heather McDanel says her group’s registration portal will open no later than 2 p.m. today.

In other words, get on it, Be Wellers.

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