As many in the Philadelphia running community know, entrance into this year’s Broad Street Run will be a bit different than prior years. Instead of a free-for-all, first-come, first-serve for most entrants, registration for this year’s run is primarily based on a lottery. Starting on Monday, February 4, there’s a twelve day period to register, but it does not matter whether you register on the first or last day (though the organizers are recommending that people register alphabetically).
At the starting line of the Broad Street Run this past weekend, you could see a colorful array of clothing. With the race having over 34,000 participants, it was no surprise to see so much variety in the attire being worn.
What was particularly interesting, however, was how people dressed for the weather. With the temperature at about 58 degrees at the start and climbing no higher than 60 by 10 a.m. (when many runners would be finishing), many treated the race as if they were running on a summer day, with t-shirts or tank tops and shorts. Others took a more “pessimistic” view of the cloudy conditions and accounted for the lack of sun with long sleeves, pants or crops.
Then, there was the humidity factor. Some said that the humidity (which averaged 78 for the day) was relatively low. Others, like top American finisher Michael McKeeman, believed the high humidity hindered performance.
So, were the Broad Street Run weather conditions good? If not, what constitutes ideal running conditions?
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to run the ODDyssey Half Marathon here in Philly. In its second year, the ODDyssey is the only road half marathon in the spring within city limits. It’s a nice race, with a little more than 1,500 finishers run almost entirely within Fairmount Park and with about eight miles on West River Drive. It’s a pretty fast, flat course, with one notable exception (a lengthy climb at mile 12.5). Additionally, in keeping with its name, the ODDyssey has a few features for those who are looking to have more fun and don’t care as much about their time: encouraged costumes and a costume contest, optional obstacle courses including military-themed bounces and water balloons.
Overall, the ODDyssey is a nice addition to the Philadelphia road race calendar. Here, in one person’s opinion, is a list of Philly’s annual races that you should do at least once: