Brand new grill, brand new hip

Colleen McIntyre says her dad's hand-drawn map to the tailgate isn't particularly helpful.
Colleen McIntyre says her dad's hand-drawn map to the tailgate isn't particularly helpful.

Jim McIntyre will take it slower, but it's still 10-mile tailgate day for the family.

Posted: April 30, 2013

The Inquirer is publishing daily profiles of participants in the May 5 Broad Street Run.

The McIntyre family of Horsham has its priorities straight.

Last Christmas, the children gave their father, Jim, 64, a new gas grill. He not only runs the Broad Street Run, 10 miles, but he also cooks burgers and sausage for everyone after.

"Get a few beers, you're OK after that," he says. "You're rehydrated."

In past years, with an inferior grill, Jim had to cook sausages at home the night before.

No longer!

Jim hasn't told his doctor he's running on the new hip he received in December. More than likely, with this story, the surgeon will now find out.

An engineer with Siemens, Jim started running in the Army and never stopped. He has run more than 30 marathons, and about 15 years ago started running Broad Street, hoping to get his children interested and running with him.

He started the tailgate after to help his cause.

"He convinced us with the burgers," said daughter Colleen McIntyre, 29, a prosecutor in Montgomery County.

With age and a bad hip, Joe gave up marathons.

But not Broad Street.

"It is important to him to continue to race with his family," Colleen said, "and Broad Street allows him to do that."

Colleen, her brother, a brother-in-law, and cousins will all join Jim. Other family members, including grandchildren, will cheer along the course and join the tailgate at the finish.

The party's gotten so big with family and friends that Jim made a map a few years ago to help everyone find the tailgate.

Jim is an engineer, not a cartographer.

"With his map," Colleen said, "sometimes it takes longer to find the burgers than run the race."

They meet in the American Swedish Historical Museum parking lot in FDR Park, a short walk from the finish line. Jim drives the family RV to the tailgate site at dawn, then takes the Broad Street subway to the start in North Philadelphia along with thousands of others.

The McIntyre family and friends rendezvous before the race at the 50-yard line of the Central High School football field. They start together, but run at their own pace.

Jim used to finish first.

With his new hip, Jim says, doctors don't encourage running. "I guess because of the impact." He bought the most shock-absorbent shoe he could find, and says, "I've made some accommodations, and I'm not feeling any pain.

"I've been going pretty slow. I was getting slower anyway. So this is isn't a big deal."

As with so many others, the Broad Street Run, sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, has become a family day for the McIntyres.

"It may be more important to me than it is to the kids," Jim says. "They don't see it will ever end. But for me, at my age, and with my hip, I know it won't go on forever."

Of course, even when he hangs up his shoes, he can still pick up the spatula.

In response to the Boston Marathon bombings, Colleen plans to run in a Boston Red Sox T-shirt. Jim looks forward to a moment of silence at the start. "People are not going to be afraid," he said, "but they'll be thinking about it. I think it's a good thing, an expression of our freedom."

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

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