Mayor Nutter Invites Boston Marathoners to Participate in the Broad Street Run

Plus: city officials outline safety and security measures for the May 5th race.

From left to right: Mayor Michael Nutter, Stephen Wray, Dan Hilferty and Mike DiBerardinis.

“I talked to [Boston] Mayor [Thomas] Menino this morning,” Michael Nutter said during a press conference in Rittenhouse Square yesterday. “He’s getting the word out to the Boston running community: they are more than welcome to participate in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. We send our hearts out to all of them, and we want to be supportive.”

Independence Blue Cross, the City of Philadelphia, Department of Parks and Recreation and Cadient Group yesterday announced a city-wide initiative called “From Philly to Boston with Love” to show unified support and encourage donations for those runners, spectators and families affected by the bombings in Boston last week. In addition to an open invitation to the Boston running community, officials detailed what the city will be doing to hearten Boston and keep runners safe during the Broad Street Run on May 5th.

For one, Broad Street runners, spectators and volunteers will be given colorful stickers to wear, featuring a logo that reads “From Philly to Boston with Love.” “The peel-off on the back will include a note from myself and from Independence Blue Cross CEO Dan Hilferty encouraging contributions to the One Fund in Boston,” Mayor Nutter explained.

Safety, of course, will be a top priority at the race this year. Nutter said last week that security would be “much more visible” in the wake of the bombings, but deputy mayor of the Department of Parks and Recreation Mike DiBerardinis filled in some of the details yesterday: “This city and my department are working with all of the city agencies—particularly the police, state, federal and local folks with the Homeland Security—to make sure that this is a safe and fun and exciting race for us on May 5th.”

Most runners don’t seem overly worried. In fact, many are expected to show their support for Boston at the Broad Street Run by donning red socks, a play on the Boston Red Sox. The grassroots effort and the city’s new initiative come on the heels of a wave of solidarity runs and walks that have taken place throughout the region over the past week.

“Let’s have fun, let’s be safe, let us never forget our good friends in Boston,” said Nutter in a particularly galvanizing moment. “Let us never forget that, as Americans, we may suffer tragedy. We may experience loss. But we never, ever give up and we will not recede on the issue of independence and liberty and freedom. We are Americans and we support each other. We support the Broad Street Run.”