Monday, May 5, 2008

Runner riding subway free since 2001

Francis Scott Kegan, 42, has been riding the Broad Street Subway line gratis for the past seven years. Kegan takes the line from the Fairmount Station to the Pattison Station Monday through Friday for his job as a code breaker at the Naval Yard with FiveTech Inc.

Every morning Kegan arrives at the station in his running gear complete with a Broad Street Run bib pinned to the front of his shirt. "It appears that I'm competing in a race with a number and sneaker chip," said Kegan.

Each year runners participating in the Broad Street Run are granted free service on the subway to the starting line. Many runners are also given free fair for transportation after the race is complete.

The no-charge is only good for the morning of race day. Septa feels it's a great way for commuters who wouldn't normally ride the subway to see how convenient it is.

Somehow Kegan has been able to portray that the Broad Street Run occurs five times a week 52 weeks a year. "I see this guy come down the steps and he's got all his gear on and so I let him pass because that's what we do on race days," said Septa Orange Line Attendant, Charles McNulty. "I'm not permitted to question anyone wearing a race number. He's got the number right on the front there."

Kegan admits that after running in the 2001 Broad Street Run he kept the bib and changes the year using white-out. "The bib is looking a little tattered and I'm very nervous about 2010. That's when I'll have to change two digits."

Asked how he gets free entry at 5:30PM in the middle of winter Kegan answered,"I often say that I got lost or that, 'Damn, I thought the race was today.' But mostly having the number gets me past the turnstiles. It's hard to question the number."

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