Broad Street Run Bib

On May 6th, a few thousand people will descend on Broad Street in Philadelphia for one of the largest 10 Mile Runs in the country.  I registered in the small, 5 hour window that was registration.  Since then, I’ve decided not to do a half followed by 10 miles.  I mean, it also means an extra day at home and travel between Columbus, OH and Philadelphia, PA would be tight to get my stuff.  Thus, I’d rather transfer my bib to someone.  Who’s interested?!

When registration goes bad

Dear Broad Street Run,

I’d hate to be your IT guy right now.  Registration today was long, hard and unenjoyable.  It took me three times to try and get through due to site slowness and runners not being able to breath in and breath out and take their time in registering.  The Broad Street run sold out in 5 days last year.  Were you not expecting to have ridiculous numbers of runners sitting by their computers waiting to sign up as registration was suppose to open ‘around 10 AM’??  I mean really, this race has been around awhile.  A friend of mine was tweeting other races because of people’s frustration with registration.  Granted, us runners probably need to learn to breath in and out a little bit in relax, but what can we say, we get excited about things.  Then, there’s the issue of people being registered multiple times. I mean, there has to be some way to set up the confirmation stage so people don’t click buttons more than once.  I feel for the people who hit confirm, yet get a ‘service unavailable’ message- that was me my first time too.  But people having to wait 40 minutes- a few hours for things to go through??  It’ll take me a shorter amount of time to run the race.  I think It’s about time to get a better registration system.  You figured people were going to hop on the registration band wagon so why not bite the bullet before issues come up?  You might want to fix some things ASAP before it becomes known as the BS Run.

Love,

The Long Distance Running Community

A Runner’s Race Dilemma

I hate when I’m in a race debate.  Or a race ‘pickle’ as some would say.  I’m signed up for the Capital City Half Marathon on May 5th, 2012 (a Saturday).  It’s at home in Ohio, I’m registered, I get my own bed for a night and there’d be a bunch of food and massive amounts of Runnervention going on.  My issue?  The Broad Street Run is May 6th, 2012 (Sunday). In Philadelphia. And, to boot, I can register a day early (ie TOMORROW on 2/14) since I have health insurance through IBX (there’s one plus of it being the school’s health insurance).  What’s a girl to do?  Sign up for the BSR and book it back to Philly for a second double digit run in 2 days? or enjoy home for an extra day and not make my legs suffer through the drive or flight back to Philly?  What Would You Do?

PS: the Broad Street Run sold out in a week last year so there’s not much time to decide!  Registration opens Wednesday, February 15th at 10 AM

It Took HOW Long?

Early this afternoon, I got an email from the Chicago Marathon.  In the subject line, it said something to the effect of “Registration Has Closed in Record Time for the BOA Chicago Marathon”.  It took all of 6 days for the Chicago Marathon to sell out 45,000 slots.  6 DAYS! Last year, it sold out in a month.  In 2003, it sold out in 35 weeks.  Crazy what less than 1o years can do, huh?  That and the effects of social media like Facebook and Twitter.  You can like the Chicago Marathon or follow them to see all the craziness that has ensued since registration opened on February 1st.

Obviously, some people are bummed that they didn’t have the chance to register.  Or that they didn’t have the $150 registration fee to get in this year.  Or that they’re unsure if current injuries will keep them out of the early October race and there’s no way to transfer in with someone who down the line can no longer run.  However, one of the nice things about runners is that we like to do things for others.  So while we put ridiculous amounts of miles on our legs training (I ran 1500+ miles last year) in any weather (or at the gym like me to watch sportscenter, basketball and football), there’s always the idea of running for charity.  I’ve blogged about my experience with Jack’s Fund for whom I ran the NYC Marathon for in November and The Steps Foundation, for whom I ran the Chicago Marathon for in 2010.  This year, I’m returning to Chicago for the American Cancer Society, however, there’s a whole list of charities offering slots into the marathon as long as you fundraise a certain amount of money.  If you want to run Chicago this year, consider doing it for something better, like to support Girls on the Run, Children’s Oncology Services, The Pat Tillman Foundation or any of the other Charities offering entries into this years race.  To those in, congrats!!

Side note, to anyone interested in running the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, registration opens Wednesday, February 15.  It sold out in a week last year!

You’re charging how much? To run how many miles?!

Dear Rock n Roll Series,

I have run in quite a few of your events.  I’ve done the Philadelphia Half Marathon (better known as the Philadelphia Distance Run to those of us in Philly) in 2009, 2010 and will be participating again this weekend.  I’ve also run the Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon in 2010 as well as the P.F. Chang Phoenix Arizona Marathon in 2010.  However, you find ways to increase your prices.  What gives? I paid $60 at LAST YEAR’S Philly Half Marathon expo to run this year’s race.  On facebook, you’re telling me that to run the Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2012, you’re giving us the low, expo rate of $70.  $70?!?! For what?

Each race I’ve participated in, I’ve gotten a shirt, a medal and gear check should I decide to use it.  There’s also food at the end, which every long distance race has.  What gives that you’re increasing the price every year?  To make things worse, if you register race weekend, you’re charging $125. $125 if you sign up today or tomorrow to run 13.1 miles on Sunday. Are you kidding me?  You have taken over races in cities across the country (Philadelphia, Chicago, and St. Louis just to name a few) for your ‘series’ in which people can get a few more medals if they do multiple races.

You’re pushing me away my friend.  I’m not buying into paying more for a race where there isn’t more offered to the runner.  I paid $36 for a 10 mile race I ran earlier this year (read Broad Street Run) and even paid $70 (online, with a coupon code) 4 days before running the Chicago Half Marathon this past weekend on 9/11.  You’re losing me as a runner for increasing prices for no good reason and for not explaining why.

I guarantee many people agree with me so just consider not charging an arm and a leg for a route that I can pretty much run on my own in Philadelphia, with a friend in Chicago or could map out on my own or come up with a better route in another city.  I hope you hear me on this as I’m probably speaking for quite a few people.

Yours in running,

Christine

Broad Street Run 2011

It’s almost 10:30 pm and I’m just getting more than 30 seconds to write about Broad Street 2011.  I was determined to get as much sleep as possible so I didn’t wake up until 615 or so.  I ran last year and got to the start way too early.  It was one of those I don’t know what to wear in terms of weather for whatever reason and left the house with multiple long sleeve shirts on over a dry fit.  It took 15 minutes to get to the Sports Complex where I parked in the V lot closest to the 76W exit (as I was going to be bolting pretty quickly when I got done).  I left one of my long sleeve shirts in the car because it had warmed up (or maybe it was because the sun was out) and caught a shuttle down the start and was there by 8.  We all know port a potty lines are ridiculously long at these things so I ducked into a gas station where indeed there was a bathroom that required all of 3 minutes of waiting (instead of 20 like last year).  I was in the Gray corral this year but decided to jump in the Green corral (one ahead) because I had an 1137 AM train to NYC and wanted to make sure I got out on time.

Come 830 AM (and an awesome new running playlist later), the gun sounded and corrals started moving.  It took about 10 minutes for me to get over the start and off to the races with 30,000 other people.  About 1/4 a mile in is a church where, last year, a priest and his congregation were out cheering us along.  This year, they were out in full force again.  I made good time with my first mile, however didn’t appreciate the “You’re Almost Done” sign at around 1.25 miles.  I ducked into a McDonald’s (with 5 other people behind me for a second bathroom break and then went back to work.  For some reason, BSR felt so much easier this year.  Last year we were fighting 85+ degree heat and humidity.  Additionally, my feet were killing me because I didn’t train right with my Vibrams (and ended up with an IT band injury because of it).  The fans were out in full force which is always a good thing since this is also a good race to watch.  I never hit a wall with this race like I have with other long runs and that was a major plus.  Around mile 5.5, I (along with a few other runners) saw a guy go down.  Not sure if he fell or was a little on the dehydrated side but we talked to him until medics came over- fingers crossed he was ok.  At around mile 7, a bunch of people at the water station were dressed up in tutus/skirts and crowns.  I’m guessing they were in London this weekend.

I loved the last mile where fans were in full force.  People from Jimbo’s Squad, Student’s Run, and friends and family.  I was thrilled to see the Navy Yard Gate as that means only 1/4 mile left!!  I was picking people off left and right and ended up running a new 10 mile PR of 1:38:52.  This beats my Cherry Blossom time by 3 minutes and my BSR time from last year by 14- YAY ME!!  I was able to make it through the shute, get my medal and food all by 10:23 (note there’s an 11:37 train) and started weaving my way back to my car.  I was there by 10:40 and on the road in no time.  Since there was no traffic, I had enough time to get home and have a luxurious 3 minute shower before scurrying over to 30th Street Station at 11:30.  I had my tickets printed out at 11:33 and was on the train with (no joke) 2 minutes to spare.

I spent most of the afternoon with my grandparents as my parents were doing the Td Bank 5 Borough Bike ride, but there was some sort of back up where they ended up stuck on a bridge for an hour, had to walk another hour and then had to wait an hour to get on the Statan Island Ferry back to Battery Park. My grandparents and I went out to dinner with a friend of mine from Ohio who lives in NYC and then I showed my grandparents down to the theater where they were meeting up with my parents for a 7 pm show (which they finally got to at 703 pm).  I saw my parents all of 1 minute and then decided to head back to philly a few hrs early do to being worn out.  Hope BSR treated everyone well and glad the weather cooperated!!

When Running Expos Get Interesting

This morning I spent a good 5 hrs at the Broad Street Run(BSR) expo volunteering.  It involved me sitting and looking up bib numbers on a computer when people forgot to bring a print out of their number confirmation or couldn’t pull the email up on their phones because they deleted the email.  I was suppose to be there at 7:30 but since nothing really goes on the first 20 minutes or so, I ended up getting at the expo (over at the sports complex) at 7:35 and found the entrance for volunteers after walking aimlessly and

The design on my volunteer and running shirt

following in venders.  After signing in and getting a shirt (which turned out to be the same design as the running shirt I picked up yesterday with my bib and gear), I headed over to my station with 3 comrades and waited for instruction (think like 755).  Even at 755, we got no official training on how to actually look things up (this includes the people who actually showed up on time).  Thankfully we were smart enough to figure it out as there was only 3 or 4 links on the computer and only 1 which actually made any sense to click.  The nice thing is we could search people’s email, phone number or address in addition to last names (but that’s besides the point).  We got waves of people so sometimes we were busy, sometimes we weren’t.

Anyways, every once in awhile, one computer wouldn’t find someone’s number but the computer next to it would.  Apparently it has to do with when the fancy IT people update the systems on the computers.  As they go through, changes are made so not all the computers have everyone for some reason.

My story of the day in bib looker upper station is this.  A husband and his wife came to look up their numbers and the numbers of a friend of theirs and the friend’s bf.  We find the husband, wife and the bf of the bf/gf team.  We search the gf’s name, email, address and phone number (work, home and cell numbers) on 2 computers and the gf was nowhere to be found in our system.  The husband of the husband/wife team finally calls the gf of the gf/bf team.  It turns out, the bf registered himself but forgot to register her even though he said he would do both.  That stings (yes, stings, not stinks).  For the record, if it were my bf, I’d yell at him then take his number and run the race myself if I didn’t hurt him first.  However, the gf should have double checked this.  BSR sold out in 5 days and I wouldn’t trust my registration on anyone.

The only story that tops this is the little 3 yr old working next to his dad helping pass out bananas at a nutritional education table.  When I picked up my bib and shirt (and lack luster swag bag that had nothing good in it- more in the race review on that), I stopped to get a banana (free food and I was hungry).  The little kid handed me a banana and then proceeded to tell me to have a good race.  CUTEST. KID. EVER.

So sometime tomorrow morning (830 AM to be exact) the starting line of BSR 2011 will look something like this

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