And he’s off: Broad Street Run director retires after 22 years

Pat Loeb
March 04, 2019 - 4:00 am
Broad Street Run

Kristen Johanson | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) --Runners are already training for the Broad Street Run in two months, but most are probably unaware that there will be a major difference in this year's race. The man who's directed it for more than 20 years has retired.

When Jim Marino took over the race in 1998, there were 5,000 runners. Now, there are 40,000. It's the largest 10-miler in the country, and one of the largest races overall.

Clearly it's been a team effort, but Marino has been the go-to guy, the one who keeps a cool head when the water stations ran out of cups or when the subway caught fire 20 minutes before the start time.

“I always focused on making sure that it was going to be a safe and enjoyable event for the participants, and then everything fell into place from there,” he said.

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His old boss at Parks and Rec, Mike DiBerardinis, remembers Marino's steady hand after the Boston Marathon was bombed, three weeks before the 2013 run.

“Everybody was completely nervous, but under Jim's leadership -- making sure that everyone enjoyed themselves and the race was safe -- that's the professional ethic and commitment that he brought to the job every day,” DiBerardinis said.

Marino says after 44 years with Parks and Rec, it was time to step down, though he'll be watching on race day.