The Broad Street Run will go off as scheduled May 5 but following the Boston Marathon bombings will everyone who planned on running still show up on race day?
Runners are typically a determined bunch and many seem intent on running the race no matter what:
“#phillyrunners i will run the 2013 #broadstreetrun in honor of the victims of #BostonMarathon,” tweeted Meg Donovan (@djkukkegMEG).
There are others, though, who are rethinking race day. Despite the reassurance of Philly Mayor Michael Nutter that there will more security on race day, some runners are questioning whether they'll feel safe, and whether they should have family and friends there supporting them.
Olivia Ward, an experienced runner, ran Broad Street for the first time last year. The Croydon, Pa. native is signed up again this year but is having second thoughts after Monday’s deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed and more than 100 injured, including many spectators.
“I contacted my group of friends yesterday to tell them that even if I run, I don't want them to come watch me,” Ward said.
“I was really looking forward to them seeing me and being proud, but I would rather them celebrate me from afar.”
The BSR, one of the biggest 10-mile road races in the world, is expected to draw 40,000 runners. Thousands more spectators line Broad Street from just south of Olney Avenue in North Philly to the Navy Yard in South Philly.
“I'm not afraid for myself as a runner, but I do hesitate to have anyone come to cheer me on… I would never forgive myself if anything happened to them. ”
Ward, 28, planned to have her boyfriend drop her off at the starting line and then meet him, along with her sister -- who missed her running last year -- and some close friends near the finish line.
“They would be waiting at some point closer to the stadiums. My sister… was really excited to come look for me this year. She is going to be really disappointed if I don't run.”
The decision to run or not is something Ward says she is struggling with and it will likely be influenced by the investigation if she learns who was behind the Boston attack, and why. In the meantime, she plans to continue training.
“Running brings me peace. Running is something I love dearly so I really hope to be able to run Broad Street without fear.”