The Broad Street Run won’t be taking over Broad Street this year. (Thanks to the coronavirus, all other large and iconic events in the city are called off, too, through at least February of next year.)
But that doesn’t mean you can’t participate. The annual 10-miler isn’t happening in person, but race organizers are encouraging you to make your own race instead. Run between Sept. 12 and 28, record it on the device of your choice, and submit your results. (Read more on how here). Medals and T-shirts will be mailed to everyone.
Let’s not pretend this will be as great as the real deal, where thousands of fans and fellow runners cheer you on. But we can make the best of it. On the bright side, you get to pick your own location. If you want to start from your house or choose your favorite trail, go for it. You’re actually encouraged to do so.
The race’s official website states, “We strongly discourage runners from using our actual course as the streets will be open to traffic and there will be no police or runner support along the course.”
Need some inspiration? We asked runners from around the region to share their favorite 10-milers. Use them for race day or for training in the meantime. And yes, you should train — even if you’re not signed up for the race.
Exercise not only benefits your body, but your mental health, too, and a mood boost is something we could all use right now amid coronavirus cancellations and other grim news. Happy running.
The runner: Kasey Manwaring, 42, founder of GoalsFit, specializing in outdoor fitness and running training, and 22-time marathon runner.
“This route gets you a little out on the road, which provides a lot of distractions, and in the Wissahickon, which has great shade for the hotter months,” says Manwaring. “You get your big brutal hill over with right at the beginning on Wises Mill [Road], followed by a nice down hill stretch.”
Start: Valley Green Inn, Valley Green Road, Philadelphia
Route: Head northwest up Forbidden Drive for just shy of a half-mile until you reach Wises Mill Road. Make a left, and take Wises Mill Road until it ends at Shawmont Avenue. Turn right and follow Shawmont Avenue until it ends at the Manayunk Tow Path/Schuylkill River Trail. Turn left, and run down the tow path for roughly two miles until it ends at Lock Street, which immediately connects to Main Street in Manayunk. Take a right on Main Street and follow Main Street until it turns into Ridge Avenue. Cross over Ridge Avenue to connect to the Wissahickon Bike Trail (across from SEPTA’s Wissahickon Transportation Center). Follow this back to Forbidden Drive. Turn right on Forbidden Drive, and return to Valley Green Inn. The run is about 9.5 miles, so to complete a full 10-miles, add on a quick out-and-back stretch past Valley Green.
The runner: Takia McClendon, City Fit Girls cofounder and run leader, USA Track and Field Level 1 coach, NASM certified personal trainer, and women’s coaching specialist
“My favorite place to run is through Wissahickon Valley Park,” says McClendon. “It’s a quiet oasis from the normal ‘hustle’ you get while running in Philly neighborhoods, and it’s a mix of trails, dirt, and gravel, which is a nice way to switch up the terrain if you’re only used to running on concrete.”
Start: Historic RittenhouseTown, 208 Lincoln Dr.
Route: From the parking lot, take the Wissahickon Bike Trail 0.1 miles until you reach Forbidden Drive. Turn right, and follow Forbidden Drive for five miles. Around three miles in, you’ll pass Valley Green Inn, and at the 4.5-mile mark, the Thomas Mill Covered Bridge. Another half-mile takes you to W. Bells Road. Turn around here, and complete the five miles home.
The runner: Rodney Russen, marathon pacer, guide runner for people with disabilities, and finisher of over 30 marathons and 20 ultramarathons
“It’s not exactly as straight as Broad Street but most races aren’t. And in this area, it’s one of the few stretches where you don’t have to worry about crossing too many streets,” says Russen. “You’ll have to go over just six or seven streets, which means you don’t have to stop a bunch.”
Start: William G. Rohrer Children’s Playground, 5300 N. Park Dr., Pennsauken Township, N.J.
Route: Take a left on the asphalt path paralleling N. Park Drive, heading counterclockwise around Cooper River Lake. Follow the lake for roughly 1.5 miles until you reach Browning Road. Turn left, and follow Browning Road for a half-mile until you reach Knight Park (where Browning Road intersects Park Avenue). Take a lap around the park, meeting back where you started. Continue down Browning Road for a half-mile until it ends at Newton Lake Drive. Hang a left, and follow Newton Lake Drive for 0.2 miles until you see a footpath on your right. Take the footpath around Newton Lake, until you return to Newton Lake Drive.
Follow Newton Lake Drive back to Browning Road, and continuing north on Browning Road. You’ll pass Knight Park on your right, before eventually returning to Cooper River Lake. Make a right on the footpath, and follow the lake for about 1.5 miles until you reach Cuthbert Boulevard. Make a left, and continue wrapping around the lake until you return to the playground.
The runner: Ross Martinson, owner of Philadelphia Runner and running coach, and nine-time marathon runner
“This loops around Center City but includes some great photo-ops, like the Divine Lorraine, Delaware Ave seaport, and Magic Gardens on South Street,” says Martinson.
Start: Lloyd Hall (behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art), 1 Boathouse Row
Route: Head southeast on the Schuylkill River Trail for 0.3 miles until you reach the intersection of Kelly Drive and Fairmount Avenue. Take a slight left on Fairmount Avenue. Follow Fairmount Avenue across the city until you reach the Delaware River (about 2 miles). Make a right on Delaware Avenue. Run for about 1.5 miles until you reach South Street. Make a right, following South Street until you hit the Schuylkill River. Take the South Street Bridge over the river, and then turn right when you reach 34th Street. Follow 34th Street for about two miles until you reach Girard Avenue. Make a right, crossing over the Girard Bridge, and then immediately taking a right onto Sedgley Drive. Veer off to the right when Sedgley Drive hits Lemon Hill Drive. Follow Lemon Hill Drive until it intersects again with Sedgley Drive; make a right. Take Sedgley Drive to Kelly Drive. Cross the street to end at Lloyd Hall.
The runner: Ross Martinson (see above)
“This extends the [eight-mile] river-loop to 10 miles without doing an out-and-back stretch or adding on,” says Martinson. “The addition to the loop includes a scenic run by Memorial Hall and the whispering wall.”
Start: Lloyd Hall (behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art), 1 Boathouse Row
Route: Head northwest on the Schuylkill River Trail for 4 miles, until you reach the East Falls Bridge. Cross the bridge, and then make a left onto Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. After about 2.5 miles, you’ll cross Montgomery Avenue. Make a right, following Montgomery Avenue until you reach Belmont Avenue. Make a left, running about a half-mile until you reach the Avenue of the Republic. Turn left; run until you reach the roundabout (about 0.5 miles). At the roundabout, take your first left onto Lansdowne Drive. Follow Lansdowne Drive until you return to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Take Martin Luther King Jr. Drive back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, running around the front of the museum and then on the Schuylkill River Trail until you return to your starting point.
The runner: Jeremy Spry, 35-time marathon runner, and running leader for Students Run Philly Style.
“This is my favorite hilly run — I love to get lost in the park,” says Spry. “It’s off the beaten path from the regular Kelly Drive loop, and takes you to parts of the park that runners don’t normally see.”
Start: Lloyd Hall (behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art), 1 Boathouse Row.
Route: Travel northwest on the Schuylkill River Trail for about 1.5 miles until you reach Fountain Green Drive (across from the Playing Angels sculpture). Cross over Kelly Drive (to your right) and head up Fountain Green Drive. Shortly after, you’ll see Boxer’s Trail on your left. Follow the trail for about a mile until you reach the intersection of Strawberry Mansion Drive and Huntingdon Drive. Make a left on Strawberry Mansion Drive, which takes you over the Strawberry Mansion Bridge.
After the bridge, turn left on W. Ford Road. In 0.3 miles, turn left on Chamounix Drive, following Chamounix Drive for about a mile until it ends at Belmont Mansion Drive. Turn right and follow Belmont Mansion Drive to Georges Hill Drive. Take Georges Hill Drive for about a mile, wrapping around the Mann Center for Performing Arts. When you reach the Avenue of the Republic, make a right, and follow for a mile. After passing the Smith Memorial Arch, you’ll reach a roundabout. Make your first left onto Lansdowne Drive, which leads you to Martin Luther King Jr. Follow Martin Luther King Jr. Drive back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The runner: Bob Schwelm, founder of Bryn Mawr Running Company, and two-time qualifier for the Olympic marathon trials.
“The loop got its name — ‘tennis loop’ — back in the ’60s when a group of new runners, many from Ireland, came to Villanova to run for legendary coach Jumbo Elliot. He sent them out on their first long run, and when they got back, one kid with a thick Irish brogue accent asks Jumbo, ‘Geez coach, does everyone in America have a tennis court in their backyard?’” says Schwelm. “It’s an affluent area with beautiful homes and lots of tennis courts — and lots of hills. It’s not quite 10 miles, but it’s the hilly as heck equivalent to 10 [miles].”
Start: W. Lancaster Ave. & Harrison Alley, Bryn Mawr.
Route: Head north on Morton Road, shortly after making a right on N. Merion Avenue. At your first intersection, make a right on Montgomery Avenue. In about 1.5 miles, make a left on Grays Lane. In a half-mile, turn left onto Laurel Lane. Run for a mile until you reach Old Gulph Road. Turn left, and at your first intersection, make a right onto Morris Avenue. In 0.3 miles, make a right onto Waverly Road, and then your first left onto Mount Pleasant Road. Follow Mount Pleasant Road for just over 3 miles, until it ends at Mount Moro Road. Turn left. Follow for a few minutes until you reach Spring Mill Lane. Turn left, and make your first right on Fairview Road and the next right onto Creighton Road. Follow until it ends at Old Gulph Road, and turn left. In 0.75 miles, turn right onto Airdale Road. Take your second left onto Wyndon Avenue. Pass three streets, and then turn right when you reach N. Merion Avenue. Follow to Morton Road. Turn left and finish the final stretch.
The runner: Liz Pagonis, marketing director Philadelphia Runner, running coach and mentor, and 11-time marathon runner.
“The Joseph Plumb Martin Trail is about five miles, so you could keep it simple and follow that loop twice,” says Pagonis. “I usually do a combination of the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail, Mount Joy Trail, Mount Misery Trail, and/or the Valley Forge Historical Trail — the trails are pretty well marked, which makes it easy to explore. And there’s a good mix of both hills and different surfaces to conquer.”
Note: This route is longer than 10 miles. To make your own route, check out Valley Forge’s trail maps.
Start: Visitor Center at Valley Forge, 1400 N. Outer Line Dr., King of Prussia.
Route: Head south from the Visitor Center on the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail. Follow the trail to complete the five-mile loop. Once you return to the Visitor Center, head south again on the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail for 3 miles until you reach the Mount Joy Trail, a smaller path on your right. Follow the Mount Joy Trail north until it ends at Valley Forge Park Road. Make a right, and run for about a half-mile. At this point, you’ve completed 10 miles. To your right, you can pick back up on the Joseph Plumb Martin Trail, paralleling the road, and walk or jog the remaining 1.5 miles to the Visitor Center.