Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Broad Street Run, Part One

In 2013, Andy asked me to be part of his DetermiNation team and run the Philadelphia Broad Street Run.  I can't remember why,  but I couldn't make that happen. I told him I would be there the following year. His team that year consisted of three people.

When 2014 rolled around, I had signed up for the RI Triple Crown without checking any dates.  The first race of the triple crown, fell on the same weekend as Broad Street.  I was disappointed and so was Andy.  I promised, nothing will keep me away in 2015. His team that year consisted of fifteen people.

As soon as Andy started to put his 2015 team together, I was ready and registered right away.  I had to raise $500 for the American Cancer Society and I started fundraising on day one.  This years team name was, The Low and Slow Team, which spelled out LAST.  Fun name.

He recruited friends and family, but a big chuck of our team came from the Sub 30 Club.  This year's team consisted of fifty two people!

Together, we raised more than $31,000 dollars for the American Cancer Society.  I am very proud of what we have done as a team and hope that I can make this an annual event.

Ok, so on to the weekend!

I took the train from Rhode Island to Philadelphia on Friday. Just me. No kids, no Mr. RWM. The train was was peaceful.  I read almost the whole time. It was glorious!

Once in Philly, it was a quick ride to the hotel and an easy check in.  I was sharing the room but my roommate was not coming until Saturday.  A hotel room all to myself for one night.  Seriously, this is a mother's dream!
Really high up!
Only a few of us came in on Friday. We met in the hotel bar for a couple drinks then headed to the Marathon Grill for Dinner.  We had a really nice night.
Having a drink with my friends who wanted to be there but couldn't make it.

Fun group for diner at the Marathon Grill.

(photo courtesy of LSJ)

(photo courtesy of LSJ)

Saturday morning, I met a small group for a little shake out run.  This was super fun! We ran to the Rocky steps and statue, then to Love park.  From there one of my teammates and I had heard about a doughnut place that we had to try. One of two actually, so we headed there, ate a pretty fantastic doughnut, and then ran back to the hotel.
Because Rocky!
Love Park

Check out my big brain!

At Federal Doughnuts.  I swear, the Flatties ate it...

I had a little down time, ALL BY MYSELF before I had to meet the group for lunch.  We met in the lobby and two of our teammates, that said they couldn't make it, showed up.  It was fantastic to meet them in person.
Mr. Neon in the flesh!

Lunch was at the Reading Terminal Market. Seriously, if you are in Philadelphia you must go there.  I really had a struggle in my head about what I should eat and what I wanted to eat.  I decided it was worth the risk and went to DiNic's for a pork sandwich with roasted peppers and the best provolone cheese, ever!  Yeah, I ate the whole thing.  Then, well, I had to taste the "other" donut.  The line for Bieler's was crazy long. When I looked at the cabinet I got confused.  I chose one of their simpler donuts, Coconut Frosted.  Guys, when I bit into it, my eyes rolled back into my head and I got hot flashes.  BEST DONUT EVER! I was so sad when it was gone.  I know I shouldn't feel that way about food, and I usually don't, but it will be one of my first stops next time I am in the city.

Seriously, go there!
I'll just leave this here.

The expo was our next stop.  We got our numbers, looked around a bit and my only purchase was a Stick.  I have been looking at those for awhile and when I was at Sarah's house after Middletown, I used hers and knew I needed to have one.  Very happy with my purchase so far, and my kids think they have a new toy. I am currently looking for a hiding place for it...

Hurts so good.
I stopped back in the room for a bit to get off my feet and unwind and look at the stuff I got from the expo. Some of the group headed to the bar but I had to pace myself and I knew the donuts were bad enough.  Again, I enjoyed my quiet time and then met friends in the lobby to head over to the Determination Team Dinner.

They had a cocktail hour first, but I spent most of that time putting the In Memory and In Honor names on my shirt. Way too many.

Dinner was very nice. The speakers and the presentation was motivating and heartwarming.  About a month ago, we were asked why we run. I had emailed D-Nation and told them a little about Haley.  The first time I ran for Charity, it was to remember and celebrate her life.  I never heard back from them and didn't think anything about it after that.  I know they were getting way to many stories.
Money is still coming in! Pretty fantastic!
The first picture was of our teammate Linda and her family surrounding her dad who is battling cancer as I type.  Immediately, tears were in my eyes. I looked over to her to see her crying and I was done.  I knew the video was going to push me over the edge.  I had to stay strong.

About half way in, Haley's face popped up.  I had no idea it was coming. I never even talked to Shawna (Haley's mom)  about it.  I was crying so much, I couldn't read what was with her picture. I was really taken off guard.  A teammate who was still hugging Linda, came over and hugged me. She sat with me till the end of the video.  I have emailed D-Nation to try and get a copy so I can see it again and share it with Shawna. Still waiting but think they will come through for me.

When you run for charity, it is so much more than the race.  We raised over $31,000  in hopes that every person, adult and child, will celebrate their next birthday.  No parent, ever, should have to lose their son or daughter.  I hope what we did this weekend makes a difference.  And, I will continue to be part of this team to make sure that it does.

Most of the team met at a pub across the street from our hotel after the dinner. It was nice to just sit and talk to everyone. There were 52 of us and it was hard to really get to know everyone.  I knew I was getting to bed later than I normally would before a race, but it was worth it.
Love this one of Andy and I!
Some of the group.
Another one of my favorites with Therese, Andy, Jeremy and Laurie.
With Laurie and Jim.
(courtesy of JV)
(courtesy of JV)
(courtesy of JV)
Back at the room, I laid everything out for the morning. I was getting a 5 am wake up.  I actually slept really well, which was good with the later bed time.  I woke up happy and ready to go!

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole


  1. Great write up. Love reading all of them. You are an awesome person, God bless you always.

  2. Thanks Nicole! Great write up! One day I hope to be a part of something like this, but until then, thank you for helping me feel like I was there. Sounds like such a great weekend, with the best of so many worlds! As a parent, even just a few hours away, by yourself, is AMAZING!!! Then to get to spend time with friends, old and new. Thank you for sharing this great team, great cause, and great time! - BryanB