THE REAL WINNER at yesterday's Broad Street Run wasn't the guy who crossed the finish line first.
It was Team SEANstrong, a large group of green-clad runners who completed the 10 miles in memory of Sean Hogan, who died on Sept. 23 of last year after undergoing surgery for bile duct cancer.
The team partnered with the Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation to raise money to help with research at Jefferson University Hospital and other families in need.
The foundation, which supports families who have experienced adversity or tragedy, was founded by Ellen Barkann, wife of Michael of Comcast SportsNet and 94WIP fame.
"I can not speak highly enough about Ellen and Michael Barkann," said Patty Hogan, Sean's wife. "They are such down to earth and genuine people and I feel like I'm friends with them now."
Sean Hogan was a former Philly firefighter who went to Our Lady of Calvary elementary school and Archbishop Ryan High. He was 44 when he died.
In addition to his wife, he left behind 3-year-old son Sean Francis, 10-month-old daughter Faith Marie and scores of family, friends and colleagues who dearly miss him.
Call them Hogan's heroes.
"We had 113 runners on our team," said Patty, who has competed in eight Broad Street Runs. "We had firefighters, people from the Barkann Foundation, my family and friends and Sean's family and friends. There were a lot of first-time runners, which was a huge thing for me to be able to inspire other people to try to meet a goal. As of today we raised $45,000 but that should grow because the website will stay up."
Patty said she and her team will continue to run down Broad Street each year, and continue to keep Sean's memory alive.
You can help, too, and you don't even have to lace up your sneaks. Just go to thebarkannfoundation.org/seanstrong/