Broad Street Runner accepts challenge with Back on My Feet 5-Miler

It doesn’t take much to get a guy’s testosterone going.

When you end your last blog post with … Time to get your game face on … and someone e-mails you back with: “I have a great idea to get ‘your game face on’” you listen because you take it as a challenge.

You’re on, I responded to Brandy Bell-Truskey, AT&T Senior Public Relations Consultant. The race was the AT&T Back on My Feet 5-Miler on Saturday morning. Great cause, serious runners.

Last week was the Phillies 5k, a 3.1-mile funfest. Beat half the field, everyone was all smiles. Great pretzels, free tickets and literally a walk in the park, Citizens Bank Park.

Now, seven days later, a 5-miler. Art Museum, Fairmount Park. And one killer hill.

Inquirer colleague and business columnist Mike Armstrong was a big-time competitor, finishing in the top 40, running it in 35 minutes.

For me, it was another test of will because the legs aren’t there yet. I had no idea

of what my final time would be because that hill in the first third of the race had half the people in my corral walking. I leaned forward, grinding every inch, but never stopped running.

When the race began, I didn’t cross the starting line for at least 40 seconds. I knew my final clock time would be higher. So as I got close to the finish line and saw 55:20 and counting, I sprinted to the finish. My previous best was 57:55 at the Rothman 8k in November. And the only other 5-miler was the previous Rothman when I ran 1 hour and 5 minutes.

When I got home, I checked the results and typed my name in.

Nothing.

Last week, typed my name in for the Phillies 5k, same thing happened.

Nothing.

But last week, there was a chip malfunction. I went through the chip-malfunction help desk e-mail system and got a solution about an hour later. Case solved. 33:21.

This time, at least I had my bib number and an approximate time, so I scrolled down to about 55 minutes and there I was, 55:04. But stunod that I am, I filled in the middle name portion of the entry form and must have left out my last name because it came up John Joseph. So John Joseph set a PR, too. (Full disclosure, with confirmation name, it is John Joseph Patrick Quinn.) Former Flyers coach is John Brian Patrick Quinn. Though he is much older, we share the same coiffure and hair color.

Before the race, when waiting in line for the bathroom, I had at least one kindred spirit. The man behind me said to his girlfriend, “You know, they should have a category for weight, too.”

I said to myself, that’s my line.

So I turned around and asked the 6-foot-6 wall of granite, what category he should be in.

280, he said.

280? I started shrinking in my boots (er, Brooks). Here I am, thinking 240 is the line of demarcation. The Norcross Bridge Run Clydesdale division is 200-plus.

Then he says, he wants to run 10-minute miles. OK, I figure this will be the last time I see him. But much to my surprise, he didn’t pass me until the last mile, though he did bolt right past in another gear.

The post-race crowd was festive, WMMR was blasting music and everyone seemed full of energy. I was toast and sauntered back to my car in a great parking spot near Eakins Oval and headed home to South Jersey. Amy, Jack and I were going to use those free tickets for the Phillies exhibition game against the Blue Jays.

It’ll be another four weeks before I’m back on Broad Street, game face on.


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