Race-Day Tips for the 2009 Blue Cross Broad Street Run

Pasta dinner the night before? Check. Hit the Porta Potty before the start? Check. But there are a few other things local surgeon Jerry Peden, MD — a six-time Broad Street Run racer — says you should keep in mind before lacing up

 This Sunday morning Jerry Peden will run Broad Street for the sixth time. “I really enjoy it. It’s a great race, and everyone feels like an Olympian,” says Peden, a surgeon and senior medical director at Independence Blue Cross, who credits training for the race with helping him lose more than 40 pounds. “There’s a high school cheerleading squad, or a Rocky impersonator, or band on almost every block cheering you on. It’s an awesome way to see the city.”

We agree. And it’s even more awesome if you’re not in pain every step of the way. Here are Peden’s tips for not only surviving but thriving on your 10-mile trip down Broad Street. (Didn’t sign up yet? You can still register online through Wednesday.)

Slather on sunblock: “Even if it’s not hot, the sun is still out and you can still burn,” says Dr. Peden, who uses waterproof sunblock on any exposed areas before lacing up his sneaks. “And if you have a bald head like me, wear a hat.”

Find your fans: “Spectators are awesome and everybody should have someone there just for them, but you want to make sure you see them and they see you,” says Dr. Peden. He recommends sticking a piece of tape with your name scrawled on it on the back of your shirt, and both you and your pep squad wearing bright colors or articles of clothing that will stand out. “There are so many people that it’s easy to run right by your wife or kids.”

Wear layers: The current forecast calls for a warm day on Sunday, but veteran Broad Streeters will tell you that the 8:30 a.m. start can be chilly. “Cold is the enemy during a race like this,” says Dr. Peden. “If you’re not warm, your muscles aren’t going to work very well. They’ll contract and it’ll be hard to get them in gear.” The best solution is to …

Shop at Good Will: “Wear an old sweatshirt or ratty, long-sleeved t-shirt that you can take off and toss it to the curb when you heat up,” advises Dr. Peden. “The cleanup crews are great and take care of that stuff at the end.”

Be nice to your nips: “A lot of runners have problems with the friction from a shirt or sports bra rubbing across their nipples and causing friction on long runs,” says Dr. Peden. To keep painful bleeding at bay, invest in a nylon running shirt or Nip Guards, or pick up the tiny circle Band Aids and paste ’em on your nips before lacing up.

Champion chaffing:
“The same friction problems that happen on the chest can happen under the arms and on the inner thigh area,” says Dr. Peden. “Pick up Chaff Guard. It looks like a deodorant stick, and you just run it over your skin before you run.”

Tend to your tootsies: “Make sure to pack Band Aids and Neosporin in your gear in case you end up with a blister at the end of race,” says Dr. Peden. “You’ll be glad you have it.”

Plan ahead: “Bring flip-flops and a change of clothes,” advises Dr. Peden, who hangs at the Navy Yard for a few hours after the race to enjoy the post-run festivities. “I like getting my sneakers off as soon as I can—I sweat a lot.”