THOSE KENYANS THINK they're so fast dominating the Broad Street Run with 5-minute miles. Let's see them cover the 10-mile course on a typical Philadelphia day, when the course isn't closed. We'll even lend them a company car.
The choking traffic, the daring cab drivers, the mindless pedestrians; let's see them negotiate that in world-class time - and at $3 per gallon.
Here are the highlights of yesterday's midafternoon trek down the heart of the city:
* Some "Chaka Fattah for Mayor" signs are just off the start at Duncannon Street, indicating that there is an election pending. They give no hint to the insanity surrounding it.
* Proceeding farther south, United Community Appliance, just off Windrim Street, was offering washers and dryers for as low as $65. The Broad Beauty Supply Shop (Wyoming Ave.) was touting human hair wigs. Those could be two sources of congestion during Sunday's race.
* Philadelphia is definitely an eclectic city as the guy carrying a 5-iron and flipping a golf ball in his hand at Broad and Butler proves. All he was missing was a golf course.
* Spring Garden Street, the unofficial halfway point, is reached at an impressive 15:29. It takes 4:30, however, to cover the half-mile from Spring Garden around City Hall. While Sunday's runners won't have to endure the snarling traffic, they also won't have the benefit of the various sights that emerge on warm spring days in Center City.
* Traveling past the Kimmel Center is no time to settle into runners' high. Too many school buses, FedEx trucks and maniacal bike messengers. Watch out for the cabbie with the death wish making a U-turn between Locust and Spruce.
* The final highlight was seeing a fellow duck into the Dolphin Tavern (Dickinson Street) for a cold one, some revue dancers and billiards.
We finish the journey at 35:16.8 - more than 13 minutes ahead of Nathan Kosgei's 2006 winning time. Now the real challenge: finding out what that guy was doing with a 5-iron. *
- Ed Barkowitz
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