2015 Broad Street Run to benefit a beloved cross country course

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    Runners participate in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Cross Country Championships at Belmont Plateau in 2013 (Image courtesy of David Thomas)

    Runners participate in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Cross Country Championships at Belmont Plateau in 2013 (Image courtesy of David Thomas)

    The forecast looks fine for the 36th annual Broad Street Run on Sunday. This year, many participants will be running for the benefit of Fairmount Park’s Belmont Plateau Cross-Country Course. After enduring years of neglect, the beloved course is slated for an overhaul, planned by the Fairmount Park Conservancy.

    “The Belmont Plateau is a historic and storied course,” explained Chris Dougherty, Project Manager for the Conservancy. “We’ve engaged a landscape architect to look at some of the long-term issues, in terms of drainage, erosion, and safety. In addition, we’re looking at new signage to make the course more legible and give it a brand.”

    Dave Thomas, head cross-country coach at Philadelphia University, is looking forward to restoring the course’s reputation, and enhancing that of the city as a running mecca. “When Belmont Plateau hosted a national championship in 1976, Sports Illustrated called it the toughest cross-country course in the country. And we have the Penn Relays with its big history in track and field, the Broad Street Run is the biggest ten mile race in the country, and from Villanova to Temple to LaSalle, we have a lot of history of running here.”

    Runners who would like to participate in the Broad Street Run for the benefit of the Belmont Plateau Cross-Country Course can sign up at myphillypark.org.

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