Record Numbers Turn Out for the 30th Annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run
Philadelphia, PA - May 4, 2009 - The 30th annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run broke participation records yesterday as more than 23,000 runners completed the nation’s largest 10-miler beginning at Broad and Somerville Streets and ending at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This year’s winners were Linus Maiyo in the men’s division with a time of 47 minutes, 21 seconds, and Jane Murage in the women's race, who finished in 53 minutes, 31 seconds.
Since it began in 1980 with nearly 1,600 runners, the event sponsored by Independence Blue Cross and organized by the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, has become one of the region’s most popular springtime races. The top male and female winners each received a $1,500 prize and an etched glass trophy, and will have their names added to the Independence Cup, a silver trophy engraved with the names of winners from the past 29 years.
“The Blue Cross Broad Street Run brings a special energy and excitement to our entire community — runners and non-runners alike. It’s inspiring to see so many people, including more than 8,300 of our own members, doing something so positive to improve their health,” said Joseph A. Frick, Independence Blue Cross president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to have been part of this signature event for the past 13 years, and we congratulate all the runners for their commitment to being healthy and for their achievement.”
“We’re so happy that the Blue Cross Broad Street Run continues to be one of the most popular races in our region, and that people keep coming back year after year to run,” said Jim Marino, Race Director from the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. “I can’t thank enough all the dedicated staff, volunteers, runners, spectators, and sponsors who make this event such a success.”
Independence Blue Cross continued its “10 for 10” program launched last year, where eligible IBC members who registered for and completed the race received credit for ten gym visits, good toward their IBC Healthy LifestylesSM Fitness Reimbursement Program. Through the program, members can collect $150 when they attain 120 annual gym visits. The company also enhanced its website this year, adding training videos, and additional tips and interactive information for runners.
The race benefits the American Cancer Society. All donations and pledge money goes to cancer research and patient care.
Taking second and third places in the men’s division were Worku Beyi with a time of 47:25 and Alene Reta with a time of 47:57. In the women’s division, Buznesh Deba, captured second place with a time of 54:44 and alemtsehay misganaw took third place with a time of 54:47.
Tony Nogueira of Glen Ridge, NJ won the as the first place men’s finisher in the wheelchair race for the seventh straight year, with a time of 35:57, and Jacqui Kapinowski led the women with a time of 56:23.
About the Blue Cross Broad Street Run
The Blue Cross Broad Street Run is managed by the Philadelphia Recreation Department with the cooperation of city agencies and more than 60 volunteer groups. The race is held the first Sunday in May, and the course includes a variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods along Broad Street. The race raises funds for the American Cancer Society. Last year, more than 19,000 runners finished the race, including more than 6,600 IBC members. For more information, visit www.broadstreetrun.com.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. IBC and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.