Record Numbers Turn Out for the 31st Annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run
Philadelphia, PA - May 3, 2010 - The 31st annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run once again broke participation records yesterday as more than 26,000 runners completed the nation's largest 10-miler, beginning at Broad and Somerville Streets in north Philadelphia and ending at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This year's winners were Alene Reta in the men's division with a time of 48 minutes, 10 seconds, and Buzunesha Deba in the women's division, who finished in 55 minutes, 13 seconds.
For the first time, the City of Philadelphia capped race registration at 30,000 participants to make the race as safe and enjoyable as possible for runners. 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 30 years.
"This year's Blue Cross Broad Street Run was once again a celebration of fitness, sport, and community spirit enjoyed by tens of thousands of runners, supporters, and spectators alike," said Joseph A. Frick, Independence Blue Cross president and chief executive officer, who ran the race. "We salute each and every participant, including more than 9,200 IBC members, for their accomplishment, their commitment to good health, and for making this event the biggest and best race of its kind in our nation."
"The very hot and humid weather presented a special challenge to runners this year," continued Frick, "But the city, the Department of Recreation, and race director Jim Marino, along with hundreds of volunteers, responded extraordinarily, ensuring there was ample water, sprinklers, and medical personnel to cool the runners and keep them safe."
Independence Blue Cross continued its "10 for 10" program launched in 2008, which gives eligible IBC members who registered for and completed the race credit for ten gym visits toward their IBC Healthy LifestylesSM Fitness Reimbursement Program. Through the program, members can collect $150 when they attain 120 annual gym visits.
In the past 10 years, the race has raised nearly $564,000 for the American Cancer Society. All donations and pledge money go to cancer research and patient care.
Taking second and third places in the men's division were Ketema Nigusse with a time of 48:34 and Worku Beyiwith a time of 49 minutes. In the women's division, Alemteshay Misaganaw captured second place with a time of 55:22 and Kellen Waithira took third place with a time of 57:47.
Chad Johnson from Charlestown, Ind. was the first place men's finisher in the wheelchair race with a time of 35:02, and Heather Schultz placed first among the women with a time of 1:51:56.
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 3.2 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.