Your 2014 Broad Street Run medal is wrong

2014 Broad Street Run medal

No…this year wasn’t the 35th anniversary of the Broad Street Run…despite what the medals say.

Yesterday, I ran in my first Broad Street Run, Philadelphia’s iconic 10-mile race.

The Broad Street Run was first held in 1980, making the 2014 race the 35th annual edition of the event. However, the medals given to finishers say “35th Anniversary” on them.

Um, no…it’s not. An anniversary can only be observed in years following the first time an event has taken place. Think about it, you celebrate your first anniversary the year after your wedding. Since this was the 35th race, it couldn’t have been the 35th anniversary. It was the 34th anniversary (do the math: 2014-1980=34).

Next year’s race will mark the 35th anniversary of the Broad Street Run, but it will be the 36th annual race…and, yes, they should just stick to using the word “annual” instead of “anniversary.” I suspect whoever designed and reviewed the medals thinks the words are interchangeable…they are not.

So my first-ever Broad Street Run medal has a rather big mistake on it.

There were a couple of other issues I saw as a first-timer that were rather shocking. Upon reaching the finish line, I was dumbfounded by the apparent inability of race staffers to keep finishers moving through the finish line area. When I got there, there was a wall of people just beyond the finish line slowly making their way to the gatorade, water and portable toilets—and to pick up their inaccurate medals. They have to do a better job of keeping runners moving through that area and making sure the finish line is clear for runners completing the race.

Also, the exit setup for runners and spectators trying to leave the Navy Yard was one of the most ill-conceived things I have ever seen at a major event. The space allotted for people entering and exiting the Navy Yard after the race was woefully inadequate. At one point, I thought it was going to take me longer to get through the exit than it did for me to run the race.

Since this event has taken place for 35 years, I expected a well-oiled machine so I was surprised there were things that were so wrong.

Anyway, I do have to acknowledge SEPTA for rising to the challenge. I’ve rarely had good SEPTA experiences, but when I got to the South Philly sports complex at 6:20 a.m., there was a bit of a line at the AT&T (Pattison Ave.) Station. But the trains were there and ready for passengers, so the line moved extremely quickly. So, as far as my experience yesterday is concerned, SEPTA did a very good job getting runners up to the starting line in North Philly and I want to give them credit for that.

Overall, though, it was fun and I would definitely do it again. I just hope they address the issues mentioned above…and make sure they know what words mean when designing the medals.

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