The Philly Broad Street Run lottery sucks. I received an email today about a lottery system being implemented due to the overwhelming amount of “runners” who wish to compete in the Broad Street Run. Last year there were 34,058 runners who competed which is a huge amount and makes this one of the biggest road races in America. The email stated something that I agree 100% with:
“After considerable amount of research and discussion, it has been decided that the Blue Cross Broad Street Run will be using a lottery system to select the 2013 race participants. This decision was not made lightly and will help us continue to be a race for all levels of RUNNERS. At this point, I must stress that this is a ROAD RACE. Walkers are strongly discouraged from entering this event. “
Obviously what happened with this race is that too many non-runners were taking the place of actual people who want to run seriously. Let me just go over my thinking on this topic. First thing I want to mention is that runs have turned into leisurely strolls and talking amongst friends. The hobby joggers have come out in full force. As this usually has no effect whatsoever on me (aside from the award ceremony being delayed), for a race of this magnitude it is a big deal. The term 5k RACE no longer has any meaning. My opinion on the Broad Street Run (it should be changed to race) is that everyone should complete the race in 1 hour 40 minutes. If you can’t do 10 10 minute miles, you aren’t physically capable of completing this race and taking a spot of someone who is.
NOTE: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PEOPLE WHO CAN’T DO A 10 MINUTE MILE, THEY JUST AREN’T READY FOR THIS RACE. A 10 minute mile would probably require a consistent light jog. If you need to walk for a baby 10 mile run, you aren’t ready for this race. 20,064 people completed the race under 1:40 last year which would eliminate 14,000 people from last year’s race. That seems like a more reasonable number and would allow for plenty of people on the cusp and thousands of people who deserve to be allowed to run. The ceiling could even be upped to allow for people to the maximum amount of allotted runners which is 34,000.
I personally think it sucks that I could potentially get skipped over for this race. I’ve done it the last 4 years and I find it to be one of the best courses and perhaps the fastest race with the most competition that allows me to set personal bests. A time ceiling keeps out the people who are doing it for fun. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with doing races for fun but it turns an already wimpy sport into a laughing stock. This isn’t just some 5k where everyone wants to have a good time (nice pun). This is a prestigious event that has become watered down by the magnitude of “runners”. Serious runners should not have to worry about getting in because of some lottery. And perhaps their system will guarantee all fast runners but that’s not what I expect from a lottery.
The obvious response to this is how do you know who to allow? Anyone can say they are going to run 1:40. Simple answer, prove it. What did you run at the Broad St last year? What is your best in a ten mile run? I’m not saying that it has to be a strict guideline but the idea is to keep out the riff raff and turn this race into an actual race and not a social event. It obviously bothers me that I have a chance of not getting in due to the lottery and this is my suggestion to make sure I get in. Selfish perhaps, but I write what I feel and knowing that some slob can sign up and take my spot doesn’t make me happy.