Since I am an out of the closet runner (i.e. displaying my 26.2 sticker on the back of my Sienna, wearing race T-shirts six out of seven days a week, and frequently getting honked at by friends and family as I fly down Washington Road in the evenings), I am frequently asked about upcoming races in the area.
My favorite distances are the 10K and the half marathon but I think everyone should start off with something a more attainable and go for the weekend warrior race of a 5K distance (that’s 3.1 miles for the newbies). There are some great 5Ks, 10Ks and beyond coming up this Spring in our area. Here are some of my favorites:
March 29th – Race for Grace 5K: North Huntingdon isn’t exactly in our neighborhood but for the cause of raising money for Pediatric Brain Cancer, I am willing to travel. Tamara and Brian Ekis formed the Reflections Of Grace Foundation in their daughter, Grace’s, memory after she passed away in 2007, and this foundation has been hosting the 5K race every year since then. It’s a beautiful memorial as well as a fun morning for the whole family with Zumba warm ups prior to the race, fun activities for kids and a full concession stand for a post-race lunch.
April 12th – Martha’s Run 10K: If you want to see your neighbors after the long Winter, this is the place to do it. This 6.2 mile race starts and ends at Mt. Lebanon Stadium and is a local favorite. It is known for its hilly course, heading up Cochran to Washington Road then winding through the neighborhoods of Markham. There are quite a few “fans” that will be sure to cheer you on as you run past their houses. Granted, they will probably be in their bathrobe, sipping on their coffee, but heck, a fan is a fan. (editor’s note: Yes. That robe and coffee person will be me. But I do have a cowbell. Cheers. lpl)
April 26th – Carnegie VFD 5K: Do you want a flat and fast race? If so, look no further. This 5K is so flat that you’ll think you are in Illinois. This one is actually my 5K personal record race and not to brag or anything but this is me WINNING THE RACE in 2011.
Come on out and try to beat me this year. Wink…wink…
May 4th – Pittsburgh UPMC Half Marathon/Marathon: There is something for everyone in this morning of running. There is a full marathon, half marathon and even a relay option and runs through many neighborhoods including NorthSide, West End, South Side, Oakland, Shadyside and more. This race is on the verge of selling out so get signed up now and train well (although it’s too late to just being training for a full marathon if you haven’t started already). The hours of training that you put in will be completely worth it as you run through the streets of your own city, slapping high fives and listening to the local bands along the course. If you aren’t ready to train for this yet, plan to come out and cheer. It’s a wonderful morning!