Race Review: The Pittsburgh Half Marathon #GameonPGH

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon has been a bucket list race for quite awhile. The race weekend itself, has a kids run, 5K, Half and Full Marathon and Marathon Relay and registration opened in September. Luckily, when I signed up at work, there were no codes or rapid responses! It tends to get pricier in terms of cost, but it’s a good run non the less!

I drove out to Pittsburgh on Friday and picked up my bib and swag at the expo in Downtown Pittsburgh. I got there with 45 minutes to spare. The shirts are nice and long sleeved. Good material to boot. If only races in general would get the idea that just because I’m a woman, I like pink. Just saying. They had a shirt exchange if you wanted to go up or down a size. Men, good luck. At least on Friday, there weren’t a whole lot of men’s sizes to be exchanged. Tons of good vendors (running and non running- who doesn’t like furry friends). The bag pick up was across the expo (to get you through the vendors). I was going to do the 5K as well, but $50 the day before a race for a 5K was a tad steep. I spent the weekend at my grandparents house. Nice to visit, free laundry and I got to see my grandparents first great grandchild.

On race day, I woke up early and was out the door by 5:15. Because I have little working knowledge of downtown Pittsburgh traffic and figured it would be a pig circus (don’t ask me how I got to my grandparents on Friday from downtown), I took public transportation (the T). I parked at one of the park and rides and was downtown in 30 minutes with a boat load of runners. I dropped off my bag in the FedEx drop off area and found B corral. By 7 AM, the gun went off and so were about 18,000+ runners. We started off running through the Strip District before hitting Bridge #1. We headed through the North District and over Bridge #2 right after mile 4. Because 1 bridge at once wasn’t enough, we had bridge #3 right after it.  The crowds around the bridges were definitely a plus. We kept on trugging along and got to Bridge #4 around mile 7. By that point, it was starting to warm up some. I had worn a t-shirt and capris and it was a good choice, but was wishing I had shorts on. It was beginning to feel like the start of 2010 Chicago Marathon when it was 93 when I finished. We took a nice straight shot down Carson Street and my legs were beyond tired at by mile 9/10. Elevation maps can be deceiving and one forgets bridges’ inclines when one doesn’t like them (read the 2011 NYC Marathon). Having Bridge #5 to go over around mile 11 was painful. After we crossed the bridge, we split from the Marathoners and the Marathon Relay. The relay was on runner #3 by that point and a few of the relay runners did join marathon/half marathon races. By mile 12 I was so done and over inclines and ridiculously steep hills (and a tad dehydrated). I was so glad for some downhill. We got to downtown and the crowds were in full force. I crossed the finish about 45 seconds before the women’s marathon winner came in (that’s encouraging!). I was just glad I wasn’t doing the full because of the ridiculous inclines they had to go through.

Along the course, plenty of entertainment. Bands, singers and best of all, some drum lines. Water/gatorade was every 2 miles. Kinda wish it would have been every 1.5 miles, but what can you do. Plenty of food at the finish- bagels, chips, bananas, water and bags to carry them all at the end (how bout just giving us the food already in the bag). Good bling and good post race festivities. It was kind of congested as runners exited the chute. That, and getting into the festivities area was congested. Wasn’t a fan of paying for food, so I headed back to my grandparents.

Overall, a well run race and a must do race for any runner I think.

About drrunner
8 time marathoner, 65 ish time 1/2 marathoner with a bucket list item to hit all 50 states. BibRave Pro, Doctor and a mix of insanity

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