The Ultimate Guide to Running and Watching the 2018 Broad Street Run

Want to watch the Broad Street Run? Here's where to park, where to cheer, and where to grab brunch after all of the madness.

Broad Street Run | Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

Broad Street Run | Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA

Get ready to lace up those sneakers, Philadelphia! Whether you’re running the 39th annual Broad Street Run or just cheering on the brave souls that have decided to tackle our city’s iconic ten-mile race, it will be a momentous day full of walking, cheering, and goofy signs.

On Sunday, May 6, runners and spectators will flood the streets and sidewalks of Broad Street for the crowded (literally over 40,000 people!), yet ever-so-fun run, which is a HUGE event for our city. 

Whether you’ve spent the past few months training for the big day or plan on spending your Sunday watching people strut their stuff, this is your guide to getting through the whole day from start to finish, and everything in between. Below you’ll find the hot spots to cheer, important information for runners and spectators, plus where to eat, drink, and party after it’s all over.

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 39th annual Broad Street Run begins Sunday, May 6th at 8 a.m. Runners should have their gear checked and loaded onto the buses by 7:30 and be settled into 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 for runners 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.

» 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 organizers 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, May 4 from 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. There will also be tons of exhibitors at the expo, so be sure to leave some time to take stroll around the tables. You can check out the full lineup of exhibitors here.

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 your online race confirmation.

» Where will Porta Potties be? And will there be water stops (and toilets!) along the course?
There will be over 700 Porta Potties total located throughout the race, with over 300 Porta Potties at the start and more scattered throughout the course. Race director 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 (bottled water available)

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 — a job that should not be taken 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 ten-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 college feel: With Temple’s cheerleaders, the band, and Hooter T. Owl (Temple’s mascot) 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 party: A party power trio is taking over the water station at Broad and Jackson Streets — City Fitness, Run 215 and Lululemon will be there cheering as loud as their 50-person-plus collective voice will allow. Cowbells, horns, witty signage, and more will help motivate runners as they pass mile marker 7.8. We’ve also heard talk from Tom Wingert of City Fitness, that they’ve spent $1,000 on confetti canyons which is A LOT of confetti, folks.

For the tunes: The November Project will be posting up on the corner of Broad and Jackson — right around mile 7.9 — on the runner’s right side. You’ll probably hear them before you see this rowdy crew which will be accompanied by a live DJ, screaming fans, and confetti canyons. If you aren’t running, we hear dance moves are a totally accepted method of cheering.

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 2017 Course Map. (They haven’t released the 2018 map yet.)

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, Yards beer, Honest Tea, FORTO Coffee shots and — icing on the calorie-dense cake — free massages from Phila Massages. Just stop by any Philadelphia Runner location, Shake Shack in center city or Yards between April 29 and May 5 to snag a ticket to guarantee you get some grub.

While runners are busy chowing down on their free (and 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: 8 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:
Bar Amis
Where: 4503 South Broad Street
Opens at: 10 a.m.

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