There are 10-mile races and then there is the Broad Street Run, which is quite worthy of a perfect “10’’ rating.
So it was with great joy that everyone learned the 41-year-old gem would be returning after getting canceled in 2020 and postponed from its traditional first Sunday in May race date.
The rescheduled event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 10 (8 a.m.) and if you were registered to run in 2020 and plan to run this year (and haven’t registered already), here’s a news bulletin:
>^^Registration for a guaranteed number ends at 11:59 on Thursday night.**
That’s right, if you wait until 12:01 Friday morning, you’re on your own.
In the event that all spots are not filled by 2020 lottery winners, there will be a limited lottery to fill any remaining spots.
The Broad Street Run has a rich history, one which parallels the equally popular Philadelphia Distance Run – which, by the way, returns this year with the original name after conducting itself as the Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon over the past couple decades.
Way back in 1980, a new competition called the Broad Street Run was put together. It started at Central High School at the upper end of Philly’s main thoroughfare, actually once ran through the open-air corridor of City Hall (later moved to the outer perimeter) and finished on the track at now defunct JFK Stadium.
Along the way, runners passed such historic locales as Temple University, Pennsylvania Academy for Fine Arts and the Kimmel Center.
The finish line was later moved to FDR Park and then over to its current spot at the Navy Yard.
The first race had 1,454 men and 122 women in its inaugural field. Participation steadily rose through the 1990s and early 2000s.
By 2012, it boasted the largest field in the United States for a 10-miler, with about 40,000 starters and 35,000 finishers.
For those who registered last year, visit broadstreetrun.com to confirm your participation. The prices are quite reasonable, with adults getting in for $57 ($45.60 after discount), well below the asking tab for most big city long-distance events.
Bucks County runners, both men and women, have enjoyed success at the BSR over the years.
Buckingham native Jan Yerkes won the very first women’s title in 1980 with a time of 1:03.45. Making that accomplishment even more impressive, she came back to win the title again in 1990 with the same identical time.
In between those championships, Levittown native and 1992 U.S. Olympian Shelly Steely took home the BSR title in 1988 with a 54:11 finish. That time by the Bishop Conwell High School and University of Florida graduate was the fastest clocking ever at the time and it held up until Elaine van Blunk, wife of Pennsbury High School standout runner Jim van Blunk, clocked a 53:15 in 1993.
Elaine was champion again in 1997 with a 54:45.
On the men’s side, Archbishop Wood High School graduate Kevin McGarry captured the men’s crown in 1984 with a time of 48:23. McGarry’s standard was also the fastest in the race to that point and held up until Jim Norris ran 47:53 in 1990.
Jim van Blunk, one of the key runners in Pennsbury’s mid-‘70s dynasty (along with Charlie Rowland, Leigh Jones and others), is one of only five male runners to win back-to-back crowns. JVB won in 1986 (49:05) and 1987 (49:22).
The course records are both held by Kenyan runners: Men – Patrick Cheruiyot, 45:14 (2007); Women – Catherine Ndereba, 53:07 (1999).
So mark your calendars for this one-of-a-kind October running of Broad Street. Our guess is it will return to its usual May date next year.
5K Color Fun Run, 8 a.m., Macclesfield Park, Yardley. Contact www.irun.redpodium.com
Sunday, Aug. 8
17th annual Steelman Triathlon, Lake Nockamixon, Quakertown. Contact www.steelmanracing.com