Another in a series of Daily News profiles of runners entered in the 31st annual 10-mile Blue Cross Broad Street Run on May 2.
Like most identical twins, the Swartley sisters do a lot together. They run, work out, bicycle and socialize.
When Suzanne and Leah compete in events like Sunday's 10-mile Blue Cross Broad Street Run, they usually finish together. However, there was one exception, Broad Street 2002, when both were college seniors.
"[Leah] was still rowing for Drexel, and she wasn't supposed to do the run because she had some big [rowing] race coming up," Suzanne, a Penn grad, recalled. "She did [Broad Street] anyway. I was in great running shape and she was in rowing shape.
"She was complaining the whole run. 'You're going too fast,' she'd say. I carried her for 8 miles. About Mile 9 1/2, when I started to get tired, she just blew right by me. That's the one time we didn't finish together."
Smiling at the memory, Leah said, "I got that second wind around Mile 9. Usually our chip times are within .01 seconds of one another."
The 28-year-old sisters live near each other in Center City. Suzanne works in finance with Morgan Stanley in West Conshohocken. Leah is a tax accountant with KPMG in Center City.
They grew up in Harleysville, Montgomery County, and were athletes at Souderton High. They have an older sister, Julie.
The twins have experienced lengthy separations just twice: when Suzanne spent a semester in London, and when Leah moved to California for a year after graduating from Drexel.
"It was very hard," Suzanne said. "We're best friends. We played the same sports and had the same friends."
After Leah returned to Philadelphia, they trained to run the Philadelphia Marathon.
"We trained for 3 months," Suzanne said. "I enjoyed the training as much as the marathon because we would go on long runs on Saturdays. The last 6 miles of the marathon were painful. The next day, I could barely walk. The last 3 miles of the marathon, a friend gave us citrus jelly beans that kicked us into the gear for the end."
When the twins want to get off their feet, they ride in charity bicycle events with their father, Richard, who's in the banking business (mom is Roslyn).
They've joined the Junior League as volunteers. They also take advantage of city living, visiting restaurants and attending Phillies games.
On Sunday, during the 31st Blue Cross Broad Street Run, the Swartley twins will be together. Even though they'll be among about 30,000 of their closest friends, the twins should be easy to recognize.
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