Field Guide: The Complete Broad Street Run Guide for Runners and Spectators

Everything you need to know to survive the Broad Street Run — from where to park to where to cheer to where to get brunch afterward.

Broad Street Run | Photo by Jeff Fusco

Broad Street Run | Photo by Jeff Fusco

We’re just seven days out from the first Sunday of May, and for those in the Philly fitness world, this day on the calendar means one important thing: The Broad Street Run is right around the corner. Whether you plan on hoofing it down Broad Street with the other 40,000-and-some folks in the race, or lining up along the stretch to cheer on the seemingly endless parade of runners, chances are, you’ll be joining in on the action. After all, it’s kind of an unofficial holiday around these parts.

To help you celebrate, whether you’re running or watching, we’ve created a pretty darn exhaustive guide to answer all your questions, from where to park to where to cheer to where to get brunch afterward. So read up, and let the countdown begin!

Broad Street Run FAQ

All of your Broad Street Run questions — answered.

Wondering how to get to the Broad Street Run starting line? Keep reading. | Photo via Broad Street Run/Facebook

Wondering how to get to the Broad Street Run starting line? Keep reading. | Photo via Broad Street Run/Facebook

» When is the Broad Street Run and what time does it start?
The 37th annual Broad Street Run begins Sunday, May 1st at 8 a.m. Runners should have their gear checked and be in their corrals by 7:40 a.m.

» Where does the Broad Street Run start and finish?
The race begins at Broad Street and West Fisher Avenue. Pre-race warm-ups will be held an hour before the start of the race at the nearby Central High School Athletic Field located at Broad Street and Somerville Avenue. The run finishes at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.

» How can I get to the starting line?
There is extremely limited parking near the start area, so the organizers of the race suggest taking advantage of the free parking at the Stadium Complex on Broad and Pattison, near the finish area, then taking the Broad Street Line to the Broad and Olney Transportation Center. From the AT&T Station at the Stadium Complex, the subway ride takes approximately 35 minutes, but runners beware: there are sometimes delays (particularly in the form of overcrowded trains). So we suggest allowing yourself extra, extra time to get to the starting area without stressing.

Runners who present their official race number at any Broad Street Line stop can ride free of charge, to and from the race. Note this, though: The free ride applies only on the Broad Street Line, and not the Market-Frankford Line.

If you’re worried about finding a parking spot by the finish line, know that Broad Street Run director Jim Marino says there has never been an issue with available parking spots at the Sports Complex in the past. There is no check-in required to park in the Sports Complex, so feel free to pull up to any available spot and enjoy the complimentary parking.

After the race, there will be shuttles available to take runners from the Philadelphia Navy Yard to the Stadium Complex parking area. But keep in mind that there’s a Phillies game at 2:30 p.m., so runners parked in the Phillies parking lots must leave by 12:30 p.m.

» What can and can’t I bring with me to the race?
For runners: There are no backpacks allowed at the starting line. You’ll get a clear plastic bag when you pick up your race packet, which you can bring to the race with you; it will be transported by bus to the finish line. Race directors suggest you include a form of identification (like name, address and phone number) in the bag, in case the bag needs to be shipped after the race. All gear must be checked by 7:30 a.m. and can be picked up at the south end of the Marine Parade Grounds at the Navy Yard after the race.

For spectators: Clear bags (see-through) are the only permissible bags allowed in the Navy Yard. There will be a checkpoint to pass through before entering to ensure this.

» When and where is bib pickup?
Runners should head to the Health and Wellness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (1101 Arch Street, Center City) to pick up their Blue Cross Broad Street Run race packet, which includes their race bib with ChronoTrack timing device, and a T-shirt. The expo will run on Friday, April 29th from 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 30th from 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. There will also be tons of exhibitors (make sure to look to stop by the Be Well Philly table! ) on deck. See the full lineup here. And if you have an extra pair of running shoes lying around, bring ‘em with you: Philly-based Clothes-Pin will be collecting sneakers for folks in need. Could earn you some good race-day karma, eh?

If you can’t make it to the expo, don’t sweat it: You can have someone else pick up your race packet. They will just need to show their I.D. and have a copy of you online race confirmation.

» Where will Porta Potties be? And will there be water stops (and toilets!) along the course?
There will be over 600 Porta Potties total located throughout the race, with over 400 Porta Potties at the start and more scattered throughout the course. Race director Jim Marino says each water station will have at least one Porta Potty. You can see a full list of water stations below.

  1. Start area, Central High School Athletic Field
  2. Broad Street and West Allegheny Avenue: Mile 2.2(Gatorade station)
  3. Broad and Master Streets: Mile 4.2
  4. Broad and Callowhill Streets: Mile 5.2
  5. Broad and Spruce Streets: Mile 6.3 (Gatorade station)
  6. Broad Street and Washington Avenue: Mile 6.9
  7. Broad and Jackson Streets: Mile 7.8 (Gatorade station)
  8. Broad and Bigler Streets: Mile 8.5 (Gatorade station)
  9. Broad Street and Pattison Avenue: Mile 9.1
  10. Finish line, Philadelphia Navy Yard (Gatorade station)

Additional Porta Potty locations: Broad and Lombard Streets, Broad Street and Fairmount Avenue, Broad Street and Germantown Avenue, Broad Street and Glenwood Avenue.

» I’m going to watch the race. Where should I stand and cheer?
As a spectator, you’ve got the all-important job of motivating runners when they feel like falling down. Don’t take this lightly! The race takes place solely on one street, so you can pretty much stand anywhere along Broad Street between the start and the finish and cheer on the runners flying by, but we’ve picked out a few notable spots along the 10-mile course where you’re sure to have a blast while you get your scream on. (Bonus points if you show up holding a funny sign.)

For the bands: If your Broad Street Run isn’t complete without a little trumpet and snare-drum action, make sure to stick around City Hall or the Union League building at Broad and Sansom. According to Marino, these are the places to stand if you want a band for background music.

For the party: Lululemon and the November Project are teaming up again this year to deliver a full-blown cheer fiesta at Broad and Jackson. And trust us, they take their cheering duties very seriously: Expect mini trampolines, water guns and a DJ spinning jams all morning.

For the energy: Head to Broad and Pine or Broad and Washington Avenue to hop on the hype train. Marino says the crowds at these locations often bring the most passionate (and audible) spectators.

For the college feel: With Temple’s cheerleaders, the band and the football team out to cheer on runners as they barrel past Broad and Polett, you’ll feel like you’re right back in college at this cheer zone — at least for a few hours.

For the girl-power vibes: City Fit Girls will be posted up outside of City Hall on the West side across from Dilworth Plaza, where La Colombe is located. Just look for the pom-poms shaking at inhuman speeds — that’s when you know you’ve found them.

For the cheer station hopping: The folks of Students Run Philly Style are returning with their Mile of Cheer to provide an extra boost for the runners heading down the final stretch. The Mile of Cheer is located between mile markers seven (Federal Street) and eight (Bigler Street). Groups from Philly’s robust running community will be camped out along that stretch to show support, so just be on the lookout for them throughout this mile.

Broad Street Run Course Map

Because we would never want you to get lost (though, it’s kind of hard to …)

Click here to expand the Broad Street Run 2016 Course Map.

Where to Get Brunch and Beer After the Broad Street Run

The best — only? — way to refuel.

First things first: Runners’ first stop should be Philadelphia Runner’s Broad Street Run Tailgate party at the boathouse in FDR Park. You’ll find free Shake Shack hot dogs and grilled cheese, PDQ chicken, Yards beer and — icing on the calorie-dense cake — free massages from Philamassages. Just stop by Philadelphia Runner this coming week to snag a ticket to guarantee you get some grub.

While runners are busy chowing down on their free (well-deserved) Shake Shack and Yards, spectators can find good eats near these mile markers on the course:

» Near mile marker 5
Cafe Lift
Where: 428 North 13th Street
Opens at: 9 a.m. (BYOB)

Prohibition Taproom 
Where: 501 North 13th Street
Opens at: 11 a.m.

» Near mile marker 6
Where: 135 South 18th Street
Opens at: 10 a.m.

Where: 227 South 18th Street
Opens at: 10 a.m.

El Rey
Where: 2013 Chestnut Street
Opens at: 11:30 a.m.

Village Whiskey
Where: 118 South 20th Street
Opens at: 10:30 a.m.

» Near mile marker 7
American Sardine Bar 
Where: 1800 Federal Street
Opens at: 11 a.m.

Devil’s Den
Where: 1148 South 11th Street
Opens at: 10:30 a.m.

» Near mile marker 8
Where: 2535 South 13th Street
Opens at: 10 a.m.

Taproom on 19th
Where: 2400 South 19th Street
Opens at: 11 a.m.

» Near the finish line:
Lo Spiedo
Where: 4503 South Broad Street
Opens at: 11 a.m.

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