hoover hosts 5K

When the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is over May 4, runners all over Mt. Lebanon may heave a giant sigh of relief at having achieved a worthy goal. But then what? A few weeks later, it’s time for another goal and something to strive for.  That makes June the perfect time for another race.

That was the thinking of Hoover PTA president and avid runner Julie Smith, who thought a community-oriented 5K would be a perfect fundraiser and a perfect opportunity to run again, whether you’re a seasoned, competitive runner, or a mom with a stroller who just wants to get out.

June 7 at 9 a.m. will be the first “A Run Through the Woods,” to benefit the Hoover PTA. But don’t be fooled by the name. It’s not a trail race. The “woods” are the street names, as in Driftwood, Boxwood, Arrowood, Pinewood and Firwood, just some of the streets on the 3.1-mile course.

“It’s not as hard as Martha’s Run,” Smith says of the hilly course. (Don’t worry. You run down Firwood Drive.)  In fact, she took the third-grade participants for Girls on the Run on the same course.

Smith and a group of other runners designed the route based on what they normally run, on pretty, tree-lined streets, starting and ending at Hoover School. There are three divisions: chip-timed competitive 5K ($25), non-competitive run or walk ($20), and kids’ 5K ($15). All participants get a tech T-shirt and qualify for prizes. Chip-timed runners will compete for overall and age-group ribbons. Overall winners will get a free pair of running shoes and a run analysis at race sponsor Fleet Feet Sports.

“I’m really hoping it becomes a community event,” says Smith, who hopes to raise at least $3,000. Strollers and kids are welcome, and they will take off after the competitive runners have launched. If you have questions, contact juliejsmith23@hotmail.com or the group’s Facebook page. Register at