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RUNNING THROUGH THE CITY

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Photo by Tracy Mitchell

BY JIVEY RIVAS (www.jivey.searchphillylistings.com)
 
It is no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am madly in love with Philadelphia. Yes, I know, no city is perfect. But, when it comes to art, food, people, entertainment, etc., Philly has ranked close to the top for many. I first fell in love with this city when I bought my first home, a double trinity in Northern Liberties, on a tiny alley behind Green Eggs Cafe. I watched the neighborhood grow into what is now one of the hottest, most vibrant, and exciting places to live.
 
The second time I fell in love with Philadelphia was when I started running. It was 2011, and a friend made me run across The Benjamin Franklin Bridge into New Jersey – and back – for a total of 3 miles. At this point, I only had one 5K under my belt, so to say the run was strenuous would be an understatement. It was December, it was freezing, up and down hill, and the exhaust from the cars below was unavoidable. But as I ran back toward Philly and took in our beautiful skyline, I was filled with such an incredible sense of admiration and appreciation.
 
Fast forward to May of 2012, Broad Street Run Day. I went from barely making it across and back on the Ben to running the best 10 miler in the nation. I am by no means a professional runner. In fact, for years I wondered why people would even bother. But running down that ten mile stretch of Broad Street along with 40,000 plus other runners has got to be one of the most invigorating feelings I have ever experienced. I’ve been hooked ever since, and have vowed to do every Broad Street Race that my body can endure.
 
May 3rd is the date for this year’s race. As it quickly approaches, and the weather starts improving, I am drawn to my favorite city running routes. From Kensington, down 2nd to Northern Liberties, to Old City, turn around at Zahav, then back home … 5 miles. The Kelly Drive Loop, 8.5 miles. West on Fairmount Ave and Broad St. to the Art Museum and back, 2.5 miles. From Spring Garden, down the Penn’s Landing waterfront, to the Home Depot and back, just under 6 miles. So many different runs, so many different Philadelphia neighborhoods.
 
For this year’s race, NBC10 and Telemundo will produce and air a live telecast of the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation’s 36th annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run.
I have never been a spectator at this race, but I will say that as a participant, the experience is exhilarating. At the starting point you’re surrounded by all levels of runners, young and old, and the energy is unimaginable. One at a time, each corral takes off and races through North Philly, Temple, around City Hall, and through the heart of South Philly, before finally reaching the Naval Ship Yard. Along the way, countless Philadelphians hold up signs, cheer, play music, and root us on. And with every step I feel closer to this city. I will run this race every year, until the day that my body says no more.
 
For Broad Street Run information:
http://www.broadstreetrun.com/EventInformation/CourseInfo.cfm
http://www.broadstreetrun.com/EventInformation/SpectatorInfo.cfm
 
And for more info on running in Philadelphia:
http://philadelphiarunner.com/running-in-philadelphia/

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