Tens of thousands of runners, in a sea of red socks, safely bolted and plodded down Broad Street Sunday morning in what Mayor Nutter called this city's "resilience and resolve" to carry on its first big race since the Boston Marathon bombing.
"There's been a tremendous amount of emotion," Nutter said shortly after the elite runners finished the race. He praised the city's "resilience and resolve" showing that "whoever is against us we will fight back that much harder."
The 34th annual Broad Street Run, just three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, winds to a close not only without violence but with glory and glee.
The race, sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, has become more than just a footrace, but a motivation, a milestone, and a celebration.
From North Philadelphia where the 10-mile course began to its finish at the Navy Yard, runners and spectators were obviously happy that the race appears to have gone off without any problems.
"That was awesome," said Christy Pegg of Malvern as runners gave the high five to Army Reserve and National Guard at the finish. "A different vibe this year."
Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told reporters there were no security issues or problems so far.
"So far, so good," Nutter said at Broad and Walnut Streets, the six-mile point of the race. "No one has done anything they shouldn't do so far."
Referring to the helicopters flying overhead, Nutter added, "We need our eyes in the sky." He confirmed federal agents are helping. "Everyone has really cooperated well."
For the runners - an estimated 40,000 in Philadelphia's signature race - the run took on many meanings.
The top runners are from Ethiopia. The male winner, Ayele Feisha, now of New York finished in 47:03; the top female runner, Askale Merachi who lives in Ethiopia, finished in 53:46.
Thousands wore red socks to show their support for Boston.
For many, the race was a personal triumph.
Chris Oteri, 28, was running because he lost 100 pounds.
Liz Schu, 23, of Media, was running because she survived a suicide last fall, kicked her drug habit, and feels like a new person.
Michael Bauder, an Iraq War veteran, said running Broad Street was "the homecoming parade I never had."
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