Actually, make that a great weekend!
On Sunday, I walked my 14th half marathon, at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and Half Marathon. It wasn’t my best finish ever but was far from my worst. I kept a steady pace throughout and finished in 3:05:04. That translates to miles done in the 14-minute range. I would have liked to have come in under 3 hours, but that would have been more likely had I trained a bit longer (and dropped the last few winter pounds first)!
The weekend served as a race-buddy reunion with seven friends. Some of them have done this race before, and it made for a good centrally located event for us all.
It’s been a while since I’ve participated in such a large race — the entrant field topped 30,000. There are pros and cons to races no matter their size, but I’d recommend this event for sure. Here’s why:
- Outstanding signage throughout the weekend — at the expo, throughout downtown Pittsburgh directing racers to their start corrals, along the course (the mile markers were impossible to miss!) and in the finish area, too.
- A race program jam-packed with info and maps
- A race app that helped dig up needed info in short order
- Five bridges crossing all three of the city’s rivers
- A weekend full of activities for anyone and everyone: a 5K (with a special extra medal if you did that race plus the half or full, as one of my friends did), a relay, a Kids Marathon (a little over 1 mile) that had a HUGE number of participants, the half and full, and even a pet walk
- A really nice race shirt (in fact, it was the first time I wore the event shirt in a race)
- Good spectator support and fun spectator signs (to be shared in a “part two” of this post)
- A manageable time limit for walkers
- An expo and start and finish lines centrally located to many hotels
- An entrant field of 30,000+, which makes for constant company on the course as a walker. In smaller races, walkers tend to be a bit lonely as the rest of the pack pulls away. In this race, I never felt like a straggler and kept pace with several run-walkers along the way.
All in all, I don’t have any complaints about the event and would recommend it. (Well … I have one complaint, but it’s not the race organizers’ fault. My FitBit seems to be poorly calibrated and said I only did 10.24 miles for the day. What?! Add up 13.1, plus the to-the-start walk and from-the-finish walk, and my total should have been closer to 15. Cheated by technology!)
Congratulations on another half, Joelle. Sounds like fun. Though I’ve pretty much decided to stop running for a while, I did a pretty good race myself this weekend, during a trip to Vermont. Monday morning I decided to take a nice leisurely stroll in the woods, and took a camera along in case I saw some wildlife. When I heard some rustling in the brush behind me, I turned and saw a black bear. I would love to get my time for that run. It must have been my personal best!
Thanks, Marjorie! If I saw a bear, it would be my personal best fastest-human-recorded-ever time, too! Yikes!!
Congrats! Pittsburgh is such a cool city. I’ll have to add this one to my future race list. Nice work!
Hey Jes! It was my first time in Pittsburgh and I would definitely return. Hope to do another race with you sometime soon…