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Nearly 28,000 runners laced up their shoes Sunday morning to participate in the 42nd Blue Cross Broad Street Run. It was the first spring edition of the race in two years, thanks to the pandemic.
Runners filled corrals lined up at Broad and Fisher Avenue in North Philadelphia for the 8 a.m. race start. Over the next couple of hours, thousands finished the 10-mile trek, streaming through the finish line at the South Philadelphia sports complex on Pattison Avenue.
Runners were given a virtual option this year, though only in-person participants were eligible for achievement awards and the $27,000 in cash prizes.
Contestants of all ages participated, some even traveling from out of state to participate in
what the Broad Street Run’s website says is one of the fastest 10-mile courses in the country. It’s not just locally renowned: Runners World lists the Broad Street Run as one of the most iconic in the nation, noting it draws contestants from around the world.
Some runners donned tutus, one dressed up as Charlie Chaplin, and another cosplayed as Rick Sanchez from Adult Swim’s “Rick & Morty.” A notable number of participants were wearing Bryce Harper’s signature Phanatic headband.
Spectators were strongly encouraged to stay home by city health officials, as a COVID-19 precaution. That didn’t stop several hundred Philadelphians, who came out all along the route to cheer on their neighbors.
Runners were welcomed at the finish line by hundreds of supporters, with family and friends holding up signs, bells, flowers, and water — or beer, depending on the finisher’s vibe.
Robert Gaitho of Texas won first place overall with a time of 45 minutes, 51 seconds, missing the existing record — and a $1,000 cash bonus — by about 30 seconds. The fastest time in history for the 10-miler was notched in 2007 by Patrick Cheruiyot: 45 minutes, 14 seconds. Sarah Naibe won first among women with a time of 52 minutes, 3 seconds.
In addition to title sponsor Independence Blue Cross, the Broad Street Run partners with several nonprofits and charities to help fund their efforts through donations and pledges from runners, including the American Cancer Society, the American Association of Cancer Research, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Students Run Philly Style, and Back On My Feet.
Scroll down for more photos from the race.