Well, we survived the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon…was there ever any doubt? Of course not, (I did wonder if I would be able to finish, my legs always get so tired when I run) I am a firm believer of positive thinking, along with a lot of prayer. Ha!! After last year’s race our group decided we would always try to make the Pittsburgh Marathon a must attend destination race. The town goes all out in their support of the runners (sometime walkers, relayers and fun runners) with bands along different spots on the route, signs with funny sayings to get your mind and giggle box going, all kinds of fluids (one spot on the route gave out little beers!) and lot’s of encouragement for everyone as you run by. All this makes the Pittsburgh Marathon one of the best races to attend, just in case you are in the market for a marathon.
This year we stayed at the Renaissance, which sits on the river across from PNC Park (the baseball stadium) on the edge of Downtown. You can see the hotel in the picture at the top of the page, it’s the one with the arch at the end of the yellow bridge. I loved this old hotel and would definitely stay there again next time we’re in town. After checking in and dropping our bags we were all starving, so we headed straight to dinner just down the street at a place called Tako.
This place was amazing, but if you go, make sure to call for reservations WAY in advance. They’re packed nightly and rarely have tables for walk-ups. We were very lucky, the weather was just a tad chilly but still doable to sit outside, so we were able to pile around the table and share a big platter of taco’s! Simply delicious is all I can say!
The next morning we went to the Square Cafe for a late brunch, once again, super place but very crowded. They don’t take reservations but you can get your name on the list and shop around a little on the street while you wait. Breakfast is my favorite meal and this place had so many things I wanted to order it was hard to choose. Running Man ordered one thing and I ordered another, so we could share! Great idea, it was yummo!! When we left the cafe we went straight to tailgate at PNC Park for the Pirates/Reds game. It started raining a little but luckily we were snug under the upper deck overhang for most of the game. PNC Park is probably one of the prettiest ballparks I’ve been to (not that I’ve been to that many but still, beautiful) because of the way it sits on the river. You have a gorgeous view of Downtown while you’re watching the game.
Now for the big stuff, the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon! Running Man has been training for months since he decided to run the full, 26.2 miles. CRAZY! I know, but there you have it. He and our Cali transplant friend were all in for the full, the rest of us ran the half, 13.1 miles. For the first 6 or 7 miles we were in a little bit of chilly clouds/rain, but that was really the best running weather since it wasn’t humid. The rain didn’t last long, but the cloud cover did and I think that helped me the most, I never got overheated.
I read in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the next morning that there were 4,500 runners from 49 states and 12 countries who ran the full marathon (26.2 miles) and 15,500 ran the half-marathon. That’s amazing to me since the starting line flowed perfectly this year and the “corral” I was in (I was parked in corral D) started about 40 minutes after the initial gun went off. Or to put it another way, the winner of the marathon was almost to his half way mark of the race by the time I even started running!! It was a hard day, but so worth it when it was over. It’s an amazing feeling knowing you are pushing your body to do something like this, painful but satisfying at the same time. I’ll leave you with these photo’s from the finish line.