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The Running Gods gave to me:

UPMC Pittsburgh Half Marathon

UPMC Pittsburgh Half Marathon

5/6/12

1/2 Marathon: 2:40:51

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  Confession: I signed up for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon several years ago, but after not training, I knew I couldn’t run it, so I sold my bib.  The Pittsburgh Marathon actually lets you do this, for a fee, and I love it.  I wish more races would do this, because let’s be honest.  Life happens and race entry fees are high.

Anyway, I went to college in Pittsburgh – the University of Pittsburgh to be exact.  I met Ron in college, and his family still lives in the area.  We also have friends in the area, and one of my sisters now lives in Pittsburgh.  So I visit often.  And since my sister Katie had already cheered us on in DC and run with us  in Kentucky, it was only natural that Ron and I would join her in Pittsburgh for the half marathon, even if it was only a week after the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon.

Finish Area - But Before the Race!

Finish Area – but before the race!

Walking up to the Start Line!

Walking to the start line!

So now you know that I’m pretty familiar with Pittsburgh.  At least enough to know that the city is built in and among the Allegheny Mountains.  But for some reason, I thought this course was flat.  Boy, was I wrong!

City of Bridges

City of Bridges

I think we crossed 5 bridges?  All of them had an incline on one side and a decline on the other.  That was in between running up and down the hills on the rest of the course.

Spectators lining the bridges

Spectators lining the bridges

What I particularly remember about this race, other than all of the hills was that it was HOT.  It was only the beginning of May, but it felt a little like the middle of the summer.  I drank A LOT of Gatorade.  I also poured a lot of water on my head, and it took me several water stops before Ron suggested I tilt my head back.  Every time I poured water on my head I would wash sweat into my eyes and it would sting!  I also remember the above bridge.  It was early in the race, but spectators were lining it and it was very cool!

Downhill to the Finish!

Downhill to the Finish!

But probably my favorite part of the race was the very end.  After 12 miles of rolling hills, we get an almost straight downhill to the finish!

Finnish Line - we are runners of steel!

Finnish Line – we are runners of steel!

All of the race’s marketing talked about being a runner of steel.  I loved it, what a great tie in to Pittsburgh’s history.  The finish line itself, seen here after I’d actually finished, was also cool – it’s a bridge!

Finished!  Pittsburgh Medals

Finished! Pittsburgh Medals

Will I run this again in 2013?  I’m not sure.  All of the same reasons I ran it in 2012 still apply, but it will be a week after the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC.  So I’m undecided at this point.  If I do, I’ll be sure to train for the hills!

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