On Saturday, we said hello to football season by running the Gatorade Steelers 5k right here in Pittsburgh. The race starts just outside Heinz Field runs past PNC Park out to the Sixteenth Street Bridge before looping back to end on the warming track at Heinz Field.
We’d heard it was going to be crowded and for the 25th anniversary of this race they did attract a record crowd: over 4,000 participants. So we elected to park downtown and take a leisurely walk to the start. We enjoyed Knit the Bridge and we were up early enough to see the fountain turn on at the Point. It was a lovely start to the day, but we definitely did not need to be there that early. We were so early that Kevin ran a warm-up lap around the outside of the stadium. Beth and I did some stretches and called it good enough in the humidity. I would say, go really early if you need to pick up your packet, but if you don’t then getting there half an hour before the start is plenty of time.
It was a hot, humid, MUGGY morning, so it was a good thing it was such a festive race! It was one of those mornings when I would have been tempted to skip running altogether. Lots of people came out in their Steelers gear and everyone was in a great mood. Finishing on the warming track was a thrill and we did a nice little sprint at the end. It felt so different to be on the field with the stands up around us and it felt GREAT to have gotten up to run despite the awful, humid, mugginess.
Beth and I finished a bit after Kevin who ran the race in an awesome 24 minutes and 15 seconds. But he did not look happy when we found him. Kevin twisted his ankle in a pothole around mile 2. The same pothole where Beth and I saw another girl fall and also injure her ankle. The pothole wasn’t marked and Kevin reports that since the race was so crowded it was difficult to impossible to see until you were in it. He said that he was so focused on running he didn’t realize the severity of his injury until he was across the finish line. But he was more than ready to go home by the time we did. So, we got the car and brought him home and propped him up on the couch with some beers to kick off college football season! The noon game put him back in a good mood. Plus I’d made Blueberry Crumb Bars and Pimiento Cheese Biscuits and Buckeyes (sorry, family, they aren’t just for Christmas out here).
The pothole and twisted ankle really bummed us out, but otherwise it was a really fun race. And the employee I contacted has been really helpful in passing on our complaint about the pothole, so that’s good.
I think we’ll do it again next year. 🙂