Philly Part 2 & Broad Street

So I promised a recap from last last week’s Philly Broad Street and day two.  If you missed out on part one and don’t want to scroll down (no judgement), here it is.

The main reason I traveled to Philly was for the Sunday Broad Street 10-miler.  I had signed up for the lottery on a whim and it worked out that my half-marathon training plan called for 10-11 miles that particular weekend.  Funny enough, I have actually spent the last 3 of the 4 years racing on my birthday or birthday weekend.  While in college, I raced in the popular Wildflower Triathlon in central California.  I even spent my 21st birthday swimming, biking, and running, making for a perfect day in my mind.  No 12:01 rager.  Instead I was in my tent and somewhat asleep by 8pm.

Anyways, Broad Street.  This is a mega-popular race that requires entry through a lottery system.  When my friend Alex brought it up a few months back to us NP_NYC folks, I thought it sounded like a good idea.  We then realized that it was the same weekend as the North Face Endurance Challenge in New York, so there was some FOMO going around.


The ever so necessary pre-race photo with the gear and gu properly laid out.

Lucky for me, we had been staying with a family friend in her apartment at UPenn and super close to a SEPTA station.  Once my alarm went off at 5:30, is was time to change, eat 1/2 a banana and 1/2 of a Honey Stinger Waffle, chased by some cold brew and almond milk, and then out the door.

Funny thing about the SEPTA is that they require cash only and exact cash at that.  In typical Kaitlin fashion, I heard my friend Mia tell me this but didn’t truly listen.  When I arrived, I had a $5, $20, and $1.25.  I needed $2.25.  I was ready to just hand over the $5 but the lady at the booth was nice and let me in for $1.25.


To get a better understanding of where we ran, this is the Broad Street line.  We ran the very top all the way to the bottom and beyond to the Navy Yards.


Transport ended up taking a lot less time than I had anticipated, so that meant more time to stretch and utilize the lovely porta-potties by the race start. I also ran into a fellow November Project member and obligatory photo ensued.  ^^


Now, there were a few different thoughts going through my mind before the starting gun went off on Sunday.  Honestly, some of them were curse words, wondering what I had gotten myself into.  I’ll attribute those to the nerves because even though I have been “racing” for the last few months, every big race event has a different vibe and of course pressure to do well not tank.

What was really nice about this race was that each different corral had its own starting gun.  This helped to even out some of the runners on the course and gave everyone some breathing room.  I decided to run sans headphones purely in preparation for my next race with my sister and because I didn’t want to miss the vibe of the city.  We ran through all different parts of Philly – saw thousands of people cheering, listened to the Temple band (the drums always being my favorite part), and a few other musical acts.

My friend had told me that the race was a pretty straight shot and that you would see the entire course in front of you.  Hmmmm, that’s not usually good for me.  Example 1, when we had to run fartleks for high school cross country on a flat straight road in Mammoth.  Then example 2 in last year’s Brooklyn Half where miles 10-13 pretty much drag on foreeeever.  Yes, that is where I tanked.

Alas, the course wasn’t as bad as I had predicted and even though I did struggle through the last couple miles, taking baby sips at 4 aid stations (2x gatorde and 2x water) + a Honey Stinger Gel, I pushed through and was proud of the race.


Nifty medal + Philly pretzel = solid post-race


^^ a little look into the post-race area down at the Philly Navy Yards.  Mia and Lindsay had set up a cheer spot around the City Hall (big thank you!!) and so I went to meet them for a post-race bite to eat.

IMG_9624 ^^ wandering through Philly


^^ into the Italian district


This was the next step on our Philly eating adventure and while a typical brunch fare of eggs and pancakes usually sound good, we went for an Italian hoagie of sorts.


~ Paesano’s – Philly style sandwiches with Italian inspiration ~

Mia recommended the Paesano [Beef Brisket, Horseradish Mayo, Roasted Tomatoes, Pepperoncino, Sharp Provolone & Fried Egg] but of course I had to go rogue and order the Diavlo [Spicy Chicken with salami, roasted tomatoes, broccoli rabe, herb cheddar spread & sharp provolone].  Folks, the brisket and fried egg are a game changer and that is certainly the sandwich you should order if you get a chance.


Because we arrived right around 11, we had no trouble ordering or snagging a table.  But, an hour or so later and there would have been a line out the door!

What’s hilarious about this place is that it seems like such a hole in the wall location and yet is such a well known establishment.  So well known that if you see their hours below, they do their own thing.  It’s lunch and early dinner or nothing.

Paesano’s Italian Market
1017 S9th St.
Sun-Th: 11am – 3pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-5pm

IMG_9625 As we walked the three or so miles back to Mia’s apartment, we passed oodles of shops and plenty of open air markets.  I swear, the produce that was being sold was SO DARN CHEAP!!  All types of berries (good berries too!) for $1.  I was just about to stock up when I realized that trekking back to the city with bags of goods did not seem like the smartest or most enjoyable plan. Ah well, another day.


I did have to stop into a Rita’s Italian Ice for the first Italian ice of the season.  For those who aren’t familiar with this whole concept of seasonality – it’s a thing. We Californians are totally fine with selling peaches and berries and ice cream year round.  Out on the east coast, they like to close shop for the winter and only sell produce that’s in season.  Well, lucky for us, we are entering into the best seasons!!

So, with a shower, the remainder of my sandwich (or really Lindsay’s), an iced coffee and nice afternoon in the Penn campus park, it was a trip well done.  Another city in the books and a wonderful spring weekend celebrated.

Have you been to Philly or run Broad Street? What are some of your favorite spots?


5 thoughts on “Philly Part 2 & Broad Street

  1. Ahhh I still wish I had been around to run this with you!! Looks like a great race and one I’ve wanted to do for awhile. One of these days we’ll sign up for a race together. I love how much traveling you do. You really get around the east coast and it’s awesome!!!

  2. Pingback: Looking Back at 2015 | California Endless Summer

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