The Broad Street Run + Penn Pride

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

This was my first year running the 10-mile Broad Street Run. I arrived at Broad and Locust at 6:30 AM, and the street was completely deserted. Less than 12 hours ago, the street had been packed for the PIFA Street Fair.

Broad Street and City Hall at 6:30am before the Broad Street Run

Broad Street (looking southbound) at 6:30 AM before the Broad Street Run

I started the race with two of my friends, who happen to both be Penn alumni. Shortly after the starting line, we spotted Mayor Michael Nutter (W’79) on the sidelines. He was high-fiving all the runners who ran past him. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give him a high five because I high-fived him at the beginning of the Philadelphia Rothman 8K back in November 2010. My friends and I were pumped, and we were ready to conquer 10 miles.

The Starting Line

The entire run is relatively flat (I don’t care what other people tell you – the course is NOT downhill), so we could see City Hall for the first half of the race. As we ran past Temple University, I wished the course included a loop around Penn’s campus. Before I knew it, we were already at streets I recognized: Girard, Spring Garden, and Vine. I couldn’t believe we were halfway done.

We rounded City Hall and started running down Avenue of the Arts. So far, so good. We passed The Union League of Philadelphia, The Bellevue, and The Academy of Music. There was a water station coming up around Mile 6 near The Kimmel Center, so I wasn’t surprised to see a group of people running towards the right side of the street. Then I realized Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (C’65) was high-fiving runners! He was wearing a blue track suit, much like the one shown in the photo (though the picture below is from the 2007 run). I was so excited about being halfway done with the run that I sprinted towards Governor Rendell to give him a high-five. As I high-fived him, I yelled, “Go Penn Alumni!” He probably didn’t hear me, but at least he was smiling.

Former Governor Ed Rendell (C65) high-fiving runners (Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dwightevans/486502294/)

I finished the run 12 minutes faster than the time I signed up for, and I high-fived two of Philadelphia’s great leaders and notable Penn alumni. Success all around! I hope to see Mayor Nutter and Governor Rendell at the starting line when I run the Philadelphia Half-Marathon in November. On second thought, maybe they should stand at mile 13, so I get a surge of Penn Pride to get me through that last 0.1 mile.

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