Hundreds of runners brave the rain for Run for Blue 5-miler

Officials and guests at the Run for Blue 5K, benefiting the Philadelphia Police Foundation.
Photo credit Charlotte Reese/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia's newest fall 5-mile race took place Sunday morning to support the Philadelphia Police Foundation. Despite the rain, around 1,200 people turned out for the inaugural Market Street Run for Blue.

Capt. Javier Rodriguez of the 25th District was one of the runners, and thanked what he called the "silent majority" who support the police.

"It's good to actually see that when we come out here and we see people running with us that aren't family members, that aren't police officers themselves," he said. "So it's very — it's overwhelming."

Eddie Lopez, president of the Spanish American Law Enforcement Association, admitted there are "a couple rotten apples," but officers as a whole are hard workers.

"We understand that," continued Lopez, "but 99% of the police officers out here, come out, put their lives every day for everybody out there. And we really care — we want to let everyone know."

High school senior Bernadette Shields felt a sense of community among the police and police supporters.

"When I was down, just high-fiving the police officers and even high-fiving people as they were coming in the opposite direction," Shields recalled, "it just created a sense of Philly pride and community in general."

Maureen Rush, president of the Philadelphia Police Foundation, said there was a heartfelt moment for Highway Patrol Officer Andy Chan, who was injured in a motorcycle accident in January.

"His family put together the Andy Chan Strong running team, and they were one of the winners," Rush explained. "We know that Andy will be smiling today." 

Lt. Joshua Perez was already looking forward to next year.

"We knew that it would be a great turn out, but we didn't expect this, especially with the weather," he said. "We just look forward to it growing more and more each year."

So was Rush, who said the event raised more than $130,000 for the foundation, which provides charitable gifts and additional funding to the police.

"We are just so encouraged," she said, "and we are absolutely getting ready, right now, for next year's Run for Blue."


CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said that the race was a 5K. It has been changed to reflect that the race was 5 miles.