Broad Street runner joins Philly groups in solidarity run for Boston

That's John on the left, you can't miss him in the suit, via Action News at 10 last night.

I walked out of the front door of 801 Market Street, as usual, between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday night.

You need to post your palm print to get out, but graphics artist Mike Placentra was in the doorway, like a sergeant at arms.

As I stepped outside into the street that changes faces every hour every day, Mike said matter of factly: “Looks like they closed down Market Street, I wonder what’s going on.”

Looking up the street west toward City Hall were the blinking lights of a police car. No surprise there. But there was one on 9th, then looking east, on 7th and so on and so on …


I had to cross the street anyway to get to my parking garage on 8th and Chestnut.

Lots of national monuments in this neck of the woods, I thought.

You keep your radar on around here, anyway. Suspicious characters are lurking day and night. But this was different.

Was this related to Boston? Well, actually, yes.

About half way across Market Street, I saw the first runners bounding down the yellow line.

Earlier, in our daily budget meeting, we discussed that there would be some type of fun run to support the people of Boston and their marathon. What I didn’t know was that it was coming down my street at that very moment.

“Where’s the finish line?” I asked the first runners.

“Independence Hall.”

Heck, that’s only two and a half blocks.

So I carried my umbrella in my right hand like a sword and my handy dandy brief case in my left hand and bolted down the block in my dress shirt, tie, dress pants, sports coat and brand new size 13 Tom McAnn shoes (rubber soles helped).

I tried to keep up and almost did. Luckily this was not a race, so the front runners were just cruising. I was huffing and puffing but the adrenaline rush made me keep pace.

I got to the end, right across the street from the Constitution Center, and was elated, as was everyone else.

It was the Spirit of ’76 everywhere, a united front of runners, likely at least a thousand.

Many wore Broad Street Run shirts, others had Celtics jerseys (didn’t see any Red Sox).

It was a moment, a collective thought of empathy yet triumph.

Everyone is looking ahead. Be there, May 5th.


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