Help me join the Philadelphia Eagles in taking on autism

For a second year in a row, I will be running the 5K component of the Eagles Autism Challenge, taking place on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Last year’s inaugural event drew over 3,300 participants – despite torrential rain – and raised $2.5 million for autism research and programs. This cause is especially important to me as my 3-year-old son Benjamin is autistic.

Please consider making a small donation in support of my 2019 Eagles Autism Challenge 5K run. It would mean the world to me — and to my son.

Thank you.

– BK

Donate Now!

Helping Eagles Autism Challenge is Easy.
Your donation will count towards Brian J Kelley’s fundraising efforts.


Happy Thanksgiving…plus Disney Cruise, Philadelphia Marathon recaps and photos

636784103972391357.jpgPhiladelphia Marathon recap & photos

Well, I completed this year’s Philadelphia Marathon. That’s about all I accomplished. I know I should just be happy I finished considering I was pretty much incapacitated by a herniated disc in September that’s still not fully resolved. But I still wanted to beat last year’s time of 4:51:22…and that didn’t happen. I couldn’t even get it done in under 5 hours. I wound up finishing this year’s race at 5:01:29.

So, on one hand, I’m disappointed. On the other, I guess it’s an achievement that I was able to come back from that kind of injury to complete a marathon in about two months. And now I can say I’m a three-time marathoner, so there’s that.

On the plus side, I had the chance to do a “shake-out” run with run the day before the marathon with 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden and Meb Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and winner of the 2009 New York City and 2014 Boston marathons. That was very cool!


Click to read the full marathon recap.

Disney Dream Cruise Photos & Recap

Just two weeks before the Philadelphia Marathon, the family flew down to Florida, spent a night in Cocoa Beach and boarded the Disney Dream in nearby Port Canaveral for a 5-day, 4-night cruise to Nassau and Disney’s own Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. I had been nervously tracking the weather leading up to the trip, but – except for a bit of rain after we arrived in Cocoa Beach – it wound up being a pretty beautiful few days (albeit hot and sticky…personally, not a fan of that).

I managed to run a bit on Disney Dream’s track on Deck 4, and completed the Castaway Cay 5K in 27:45, which was amazing considering how hot it was (have I mentioned I don’t like hot and sticky weather, especially running in it?)

Click here or below to view a Flickr photo album documenting the trip.   
Disney Cruise 2018

George Street Revisited

A couple of shows I did PR and marketing for while at George Street Playhouse have been in the news recently.

First, American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown is currently on Broadway for a limited time starring Kerry Washington. The Broadway engagement was actually in the works before the play was staged at George Street in early 2017 so this isn’t considered a transfer (the play had premiered in Florida before the GSP production anyway). Actually, the Broadway deal made it tougher to promote the play at GSP because Demos-Brown was prohibited by his contract to do any press about the show, which was a shame because he told us this after recording a phone interview with him that we intended to use for a podcast. Instead, we could just use limited quotes for background materials. Here’s the trailer from the GSP production, starring Suzzanne Douglas and John Bolger.

Also, my favorite musical produced at GSP while I was there was Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, from the creative team of Tony Award-winning Joe DiPietro (book), and Val Vigoda (lyrics and star) and Brendan Milburn (music) from the pop-musical theatre trio GrooveLily (Striking 12, Sleeping Beauty Wakes).

A few months after its GSP run, Shackleton was staged at ArtsEmerson in Boston before an off-Broadway run at NYC’s Tony Kiser Theatre that earned the show the 2017 Best New Musical honor at the Off-Broadway Alliance Awards.

Well, for those of you who get Channel 13/THIRTEEN/WNET in the NYC metro area, you can watch a performance of Ernest Shackleton Loves Me recorded for BroadwayHD at 9 p.m. ET on Monday, November 26.

I have a digital copy already, but still going to set my DVR. I love this show so much…IT FEATURES LIVE LOOPING AS PART OF THE PRODUCTION!!! Also, stars Wade McCollum and Val Vigoda are among the nicest artists I ever had the chance to work with. Actually, Val is the only artist I ever had a personal conversation with, as I had to tell her how I saw her nine years before Shack’s 2015 GSP run in a New York Musical Theatre Festival tribute to the “Musicology of Ben Folds” and became a fan of GrooveLily through that and Robert Drake’s annual playing of GrooveLily’s Striking 12 on WXPN at noon every Christmas Eve. She was super nice. Also, she’s a complete badass…she was accepted to Princeton University at the age of 14. She withdrew after a year to complete her classical violin studies, but returned to graduate with a degree in sociology in 1987. She’s also a former Army lieutenant.

Val is currently presenting her PEAK Aliveness musical keynote, which she describes as a TED Talk with musical performance. So, yeah…Val is pretty awesome.

Anyway, here’s a BroadwayHD trailer for Ernest Shackleton Loves Me.

“Comme si” – Christine and the Queens (World Cafe Live, 11/2/18)

The Friday before leaving for the cruise, I took in Christine and the Queens’ WXPN Free At Noon show at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. What a show! It was very cool to see a show with so much energy and dancing set to intelligent, socially conscious, well-crafted pop music. Here is a taste of that show.

“For Me, It’s You” – Lo Moon

My favorite band of the past couple of years, Lo Moon, recently released the first song from the batch being readied for their sophomore album. I absolutely love the vision of this band and can’t wait to hear more from them for years to come.

“It’s Christmas Time Again”

Well, I’ll sign off on this issue of the newsletter with a Christmas song I originally wrote in 2011. I settled on this version back in 2013 and put this slideshow video together to accompany it. Kind of want to redo the whole thing…maybe next year.

If you’re into more cynical holiday music, check out my other Christmas song, “Have a Merry War on Christmas.”

A 2018 Philadelphia Marathon recap

Despite a herniated disc that had me practically unable to move for a few days in early September and left me with considerable numbness and pain in my back and upper left leg for most of that month, I never imagined missing this year’s Philadelphia Marathon. That was not an option.

I finished last year’s Philadelphia Marathon in 4:51:22, but I had already run a marathon earlier in 2017 and did not have the disruption in my training schedule I had this year. Before the herniated disc, I was targeting a time of 4:45:00 or better. Based on the training I was able to get in post-injury/recovery (I was only able to get in up to 16 miles twice), I had to shift my goal to simply finishing the race. Honestly, I wasn’t 100-percent certain I wouldn’t aggravate the injury and have to withdraw.

Internally, though, I still wanted that 4:45:00 or better. After feeling pretty strong during my last few shorter training runs (about 6 miles each), I made the tactical error of going out strong the first 10K, pulling back the next 10 miles or so and hoping to have enough in reserve to finish strong. At first, I thought I had made the right decision. My time at the halfway point was only 34 seconds slower than my time last year. But without the 18- or 20-mile training runs under my belt this cycle, I was gassed by mile 17. I wound up walking and running verrrrry slowly the final 9.2 miles, fighting nausea, cramping and tightness.

That said, I still thought if I could get to mile 26 with about 10 minutes left before that 5-hour mark, I could push myself to cover the final 1.2 miles in 10 minutes. However, I wound up missing that by a minute and a half, finishing the marathon with a time of 5:01:29.

Screen Shot 2018-11-20 at 9.42.02 AM

So, on one hand, it’s an accomplishment I was even able to finish after what I went through in September. On the other, regressing to a plus-5:00:00 time on a marathon is extremely disappointing.

I should have realized it was going to be a bad day that morning as I was headed into Philly from South Jersey on a PATCO train. I was in a seat with a door behind me. As the train was nearing the final stop in Center City Philadelphia, I freaked out because I couldn’t find my ski mask, which I planned on wearing during the race (so I could lift up the mask part every now and then to warm my face). I looked under the seat and it wasn’t there. I instinctively went to look behind the seat, forgetting there was a glass partition there. I slammed my head into the partition, but my sunglasses were resting on my head and one of the nose rests/hinges dug right into my forehead before breaking off, resulting in a gash on my head and uneven sunglasses. So I broke the other nose rest off to restore balance to my glasses as my head continued to bleed a bit. The dumbest part of this story? My ski mask was around my neck the whole time; I had simply lowered the hood part after getting on the train. D’oh!

IMG_9834 2

Another in a long history of head wounds caused by stupidity.

On the plus side, I took part in a “shake-out” run the day before the marathon with 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden and Meb Keflezighi, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and winner of the 2009 New York City and 2014 Boston marathons. They were very accommodating, and chatted and took pictures with everybody who took part in the run…including me!


That was incredibly cool.

Here are a few race photos…

Track my 2018 Philadelphia Marathon progress

I’ll be running in the Philadelphia Marathon for a second year in a row Sunday morning (November 18). If you would like to track my progress, here is how you can do it.

BibTag/Chip Tracking via SMS/Text or Email:

You can receive alerts for me as I reach the 10K, Half Marathon, 30K and Finish checkpoints. You can search for “Brian Kelley” or use my bib number, 9418.

Sign up here!

Phone/GPS Tracking & Cheer Sending:

Use the RaceJoy app to track my actual position in a map view as I complete the course. Progress updates are sent every mile and you can send supportive cheers throughout the day.

Search for “Brian Kelley” or use my bib number, 9418.

Important for spectators/family/friends: Make sure to login as themselves and not as a race participant or RaceJoy will track your device instead of mine.

You can download the free RaceJoy app here.

Interested in the 2018 Philadelphia Marathon or Half-Marathon? Register here…

Hey there. If you are interested in running in this year’s AACR Philadelphia Marathon, Dietz & Watson Half Marathon, Independence Challenge, Liberty Bell Challenge or Freedom Challenge, please use this link to register ->


Help me join the Super Bowl champion Eagles in taking on autism

I recently signed up to run the 5K component of the Eagles Autism Challenge on May 19, 2018. Not only is it a chance to hang out with the reigning Super Bowl champions, but it’s a chance to raise money for autism research and programs. This is especially important to me as my 3-year-old son is autistic.
So, today — World Autism Day — I write to ask you for just a small donation to support my Eagles Autism Challenge 5K run. It would mean the world to me — and to my son.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
– BKunnamed.png


Helping Eagles Autism Challenge is Easy.
Your donation will count towards Brian J Kelley’s fundraising efforts.

My Year in Running: 2017

Just wanted to end 2017 with a quick look back at my running achievements during the past year.

654315_254682350_XLargeMy most important running milestones in 2017, of course, were running in the first two marathons of my life — first, the New Jersey Marathon on April 30 and, then, the Philadelphia Marathon on November 19.

Although I was thrilled to finish my first 26.2-mile race, I was generally disappointed in my marathon debut at the Jersey Shore.

On top of that disappointment, I had to prepare for the 10-mile Broad Street Run the following weekend. Two days after the New Jersey Marathon, I went for a 5-mile workday run during lunch and began experiencing excruciating pain in my right knee at about mile 3. I stretched it out a bit and was able to continue, but it kept on happening during my runs that week.

I tried to doing some things to mitigate the knee issue (ice, stretching, massaging, etc.) and had to resign myself to the fact that I may — for the first time — be unable to finish a race.

But — wearing a knee brace not at all suited for running (because it was all I had at the time) — and fighting through some discomfort the final five miles, I wound up finishing the Broad Street Run in a personal-record 1:27:03.

After the Broad Street Run, I took a three-week break from running to get my knee right again. I would have taken more time off, but had to tune up for a 5K held at my alma mater, Rider University, each June to benefit women’s athletics. Even with my knee issues and the heat that day, I managed to complete that in a respectable 25:02.24.

The next race I did was one that I wasn’t sure I would do until about a month before the event, and that was the Hightstown (N.J.) Triathlon, a sprint-distance tri held each year not too far from where I live. Amazingly, even though I didn’t do any open-water swim training and squeezed in only two or three training rides on the bike, I still finished 76th overall in the event with a personal-best time of 1:21:21. Somehow, despite the 1/4-mile swim and 11.2-mile bike ride preceding it, I ran what was likely one of my top-10 5K times to set that PR with a time of 25:49 during the run portion.

At that point, I turned my attention to training for the Philadelphia Marathon, with the lone exception being one last short race — the WXPN Musicians On Call 5K in early October. Even though the course may have been short by a bit, I finished that race in 23:39.69 — and then got to stay for the ever-popular post-race 80s dance party!


Crossing the finish line

Then it was back to the Philly Marathon. Sadly, I was only able to get in two really long-distance training runs — a 16-miler and an 18-miler — leading up to the race. But I had done a lot of pacing work on my shorter runs and felt ready to vindicate myself from the disappointing marathon debut in April. I just wanted to finish in less than five hours.

And despite wet, brisk conditions and ridiculous, swirling 40+ mph wind gusts, I managed to do just that, finishing in 4:51:22.

So that was my year in running. Oddly, except for the Hightstown Triathlon (the event I made a last-minute decision to do each of the last two years), I don’t have any events lined up yet for 2018. But I’ll be running somewhere. Just trying to figure out what races to do.

Happy New Year!