PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Registration for the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation's 35th annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run in May opens at broadstreetrun.com on Saturday, February 1. Registration will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 13. For the 18th consecutive year, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is the title sponsor of the race, which became the nation's largest 10-miler five years ago. The race raises money for the American Cancer Society.
Runners will register through a lottery to accommodate the large number of registrants and winners will be posted on broadstreetrun.com on Tuesday, February 18. The Blue Cross Broad Street Run, held this year on Sunday, May 4, began in 1980 with 1,500 runners racing the 10 miles from Broad Street and Somerville Avenue to the old JFK Stadium. Last year more than 32,000 runners completed the event, including more than 11,000 IBC members. The Department of Parks and Recreation anticipates having another sellout of 40,000 registered runners from across the country this year. The race registration fee is $43.
"The launch of the new lottery registration last year was very successful and gave all runners an equal chance of acquiring a spot, no matter when they signed up," said Race Director Jim Marino from the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, which manages the annual race. "With ongoing renovations at Lincoln Financial Field this year we are looking forward to hosting an expanded world class Race Expo for the first time at the Pennsylvania Convention Center."
Again this year, runners who have completed at least 10 Blue Cross Broad Street Run races and who enter the lottery but aren't selected will be guaranteed a spot if they apply for a "veteran" runner spot by March 1, 2014. More information about the lottery and the veteran runner program can be found on the race website.
"We are excited to once again sponsor one of our city's most beloved running races," said IBC president and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. "Helping people get fit and stay healthy is core to our mission and nothing brings that to life more than seeing 40,000 people racing down Broad Street on the first Sunday morning in May."
Independence Blue Cross hosts a very active Blue Cross Broad Street Run Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ibxrun10 and a popular Twitter account at @IBXRun10. Race updates are posted regularly and runners can connect with one another, exchange training tips, and share stories.
Marino also said that the race organizers need 3,000 volunteers this year and encourages people to get involved if they want to be part of the race, but aren't planning to run. "The success of the race is very much tied to the support we get from thousands of dedicated volunteers who do so much to make the experience fun and safe," he said. "We hope that our neighborhoods come out in mass like they do every year and line the course cheering the runners. That's also what makes this race so uniquely Philadelphia." Cheer zones will be located along the racecourse and at many of the Dunkin' Donuts stores along Broad Street.
On April 30, 2014, IBC is sponsoring National Walk @ Lunch Day, the company's second major health-related event, which was created by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in 2007. This 1.5-mile walk is one of hundreds that take place simultaneously across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada to demonstrate how easy it can be to fit regular exercise into even the busiest of schedules. A record crowd of 26,000 — including IBC associates, members of the public, and staff from 105 employers — flocked to Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square and locations throughout the region for National Walk @ Lunch Day on April 24, 2012.
About the Blue Cross Broad Street Run
The Blue Cross Broad Street Run is owned and managed by the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department with the cooperation of city agencies and more than 90 volunteer groups. The race is always 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 and supports numerous community and charity programs throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 7.5 million people nationwide, including 2.2 million in the region. For more than 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Source:Independence Blue Cross