Running Broad Street for those without freedom

Emily Holian, 20, a junior at University of Delaware, has encouraged 30 friends to register for Broad Street Run and raise money for charity.
Emily Holian, 20, a junior at University of Delaware, has encouraged 30 friends to register for Broad Street Run and raise money for charity.
Posted: April 17, 2012

The Inquirer will present one profile daily of participants in the May 6 Broad Street Run. The race is considered the country's most popular 10-mile run, attracting more than 40,000 people. They will race downhill from near Einstein Medical Center to the Navy Yard.

Emily Holian, 20, a junior at the University of Delaware, will run her first Broad Street Run "for a little girl named Parul."

Emily decided the problems of the world couldn't wait for her to graduate. At a "Passion Conference" in January, she said, "I learned there are 27 million slaves in the world. That's more than any time in history.

"Every day and every minute mattered," she said.

So she decided to run Broad Street to raise money for As Our Own, an organization that works to rescue these children in India. (

Emily went back to Delaware after winter break and encouraged everyone she knew to register for Broad Street and help raise money.

She has trained for distance races before, and running all those miles in preparation was never easy. But she made a discovery.

"Suddenly, running a six-mile workout for someone that doesn't have freedom at all just became a whole lot easier," she said.

Emily said 30 classmates and friends had registered to run Broad Street with her, "many who have never run this distance in their life, because their passion to run for someone other than themselves was greater than any other motivation."

The Broad Street Run has become so popular that 40,000 people - the limit - signed up in five hours. Race organizers say thousands more wanted to enter but there simply wasn't room.

Emily said 30 more of her friends wanted to register "but are still committed to raising money and helping out in other ways. I have genuinely seen the hearts of my peers here on campus moved into action more than ever before."

Emily, a nursing student from Annapolis, hopes to go abroad after graduation and do medical mission work.

She has called her team in the Broad Street Run "Team Isaiah 62:12," after the biblical verse that states, "and you will be called Sought After."

"So we train and run for Parul," Emily said, "a precious 7-year-old girl in India who wants nothing more in life than to become a teacher. We run for her and the millions like her."

Contact Michael Vitez at 215-854-5639,, or follow @michaelvitez on Twitter.

Still looking to enter the Broad Street Run? Now's your chance. has five race entries to give away. Send us a maximum of 200 words on why you want to run the race, and readers will vote on their favorites. Here is how it works: Submit your plea to Include a photo. For inspiration, you can see a real submission at Deadline for submissions is midnight April 17.

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