Broad Street Run Training: 10 Things Every Broad Street Runner Needs to Know

Courtesy of your fellow Philly runners.

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Now that your training is done, it’s time to focus on race day, because a little planning ahead pays off big come the big day. I reached out to the Run215 community of over 2,000 local runners to ask, What are the top 10 things every runner needs to know before running Broad Street? See what your fellow Philly runners had to say below.

1. Get there early and be prepared to wait.

The race organizers do a fantastic job of managing everything but getting 40,000 people to the start of a race takes time. Be prepared to be packed like sardines in the subway on your way there, wait 30 minutes for the toilet once you arrive, and 15 minutes just to check your bag at the bag drop.

2. Be prepared for the start by bringing a starting-line prep bag.

The starting line is crazy, with wall-to-wall people all nervously waiting around for the race to start. Here’s what you want to bring: a disposable plastic bag with toilet paper, extra clothes you’re willing the throw away at the start, water and food. Make sure everything is disposable so you can just trash it right before the race.

3. Have a finish-line plan.

Have a meeting spot for friends and family to gather when you finish. Due to the large amount of people, you might not have cell service around the finish line. So take a look in the runner’s handbook for a map of the finish-line area, then pick a spot and a ballpark time you’ll meet your friends and family. Just don’t pick the Dunkin Donuts truck for your post-race spot; there are always way too many people lining up for free coffee, and it’ll be just as hard to find your friends as it would be at the finish line.

4. Be courteous and respectful of your fellow runners.

Start in the correct corral and please don’t stop right after you cross the finish line. Keep it movin’ so other runners can cross the finish line, too. During the race, don’t stop to take selfies, and make sure your music isn’t so loud that you can’t hear folks around you. Better yet, unplug the headphones and enjoy the cheers of the crowd.

5. Plan your water breaks.

The water stations are on either side of Broad Street. Don’t suddenly dash across Broad Street, cutting people off to get water at the last minute. Instead, plan ahead by slowly making your way to either side of Broad Street for water and if you must stop to drink, be sure to move off Broad Street onto the sidewalk.

6. Be nice to volunteers.

There are loads of volunteers out there making sure you have a great race day. Be sure to say thank you to the police officers, water station volunteers and anyone volunteering their time.

7. Save some energy for the finish.

You’ll need strength for those last three miles so you want to make sure you save some energy. Think of 6.5 miles, verses five miles, as the halfway point.

8. Don’t get too ahead of yourself!

Remember: once you see the Navy Yard sign you still have a quarter of a mile left. You’re almost there — but not quite!

9. Don’t forget to smile when you cross the finish line.

There are photographers along the cross snapping pictures of you. Perhaps the most important one is at the finish. Make sure you smile so you have a good photo memory — even if the last thing you feel like doing is smiling.

10. Have fun!

Broad Street is such a great experience, especially if it’s your first time, so be sure to soak it all in. Make sure to look around at the crowds; there are tons of high school bands, cheerleaders, and people just out there to cheer you (yes, you!) on — and lots of funny signs, too. Focusing on the crowds will allow you to save your mental energy for the last few miles where you’ll need to stay on pace. Plus, it’ll help you have a good time while you pound the pavement.

Got any Broad Street tips of your own? Make sure to list ‘em off in the comments section below!


Cory Smith, a Philadelphia based running coach, shares his expert advice as an American Cancer Society DetermiNation running coach; founder of Run Your Personal Best, a private running-coaching business; and head cross country coach at Penn State Brandywine. He is a USA Track and Field-certified coach and a 4:03 miler. As a student athlete at Villanova, Cory was an NCAA Division One Regional and National Championship qualifier. Contact Cory at Read all of Cory’s posts for Be Well Philly here.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: