Dust Off the Running Shoes for the Broad Street Run

The weather is cold but the time is right to dust off those running shoes and hit the streets.

Registration has begun for the 30th running of the annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run. With less than three months until race day you better start training.

The race isn't until May 3, but local runners may also want to jump quickly on registering for the 2009 BSR.

The race has grown in popularity in recent years to nearly 20,000 runners. (19,195 racers finished the 2008 edition up from 15,921 finishers in 2007.)

This year between 24,000 to 25,000 in-shape people are expected to take to Broad Street, according to officials.

So why has the Broad Street run exploded into a premiere athletic event in the Philadelphia area?

Asphalt kickers are attracted to the 10-mile BSR because of its inexpensive price, manageable distance and festive atmosphere. It also helps that running can appeal to people of all ages and athletic abilities.

The race, which begins in Olney and ends at the Naval Yard, takes over Broad Street for most of its length. The festive celebration at the finish line in the Navy Yard compounded with the Phillies vs. Mets later in the day at CBP is sure to turn South Philly into a major party location.

Runners are also welcomed to the BSR Expo that will be held the same weekend of the run at Lincoln Financial Field. Runners will be able to pick up their bib numbers, times chips and purchase some last-minute running gear for the race.

Unlike many races there is no limit on the amount of runners at the BSR but this has caused for some congestion in recent runnings.

The BSR folks have addressed the overcrowding issue caused by the increase in runners by adding corral starts this year. Runners will be placed into groups based on their estimated finishing times.

If you want to save some dough be sure to sign up before March 31. The cost of the race is $30 before the end of March and goes up to $35 on April 1 and increases to $40 the weekend of the event.

And if you're looking for a plan to get ready for the race try this training program.

Good running, Philadelphia.

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