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Welcome to Pittsburgh’s Marathon weekend. Through the Fort Pitt tunnel, the cityscape is seen through one of the iconic yellow truss bridges.

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The expo was held at the Lawrence Convention Center in downtown where racers could pick up their bib numbers, new shoes, temporary tattoos and more. We met up with Jamie Summerlin, the man behind the first Morgantown Marathon, happening this September 20th!

IMG_9048 IMG_9052 IMG_9053We took pictures of the city before heading over to Osteria 2350 for an early dinner. At Osteria our group met up with fellow 7 @ 7ers, a group of mainly women who have been running at least 7 miles every weekend day for the last 7 years. There are more than seven of us now and we let boys join in occasionally!

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Muffin, in the foreground, has been preparing for her first marathon, so the group got together and made her a book of inspiration! In the background 17-times-a-marathoner-Sue and 5-time-marathoner-Cath are obviously enjoying themselves.IMG_9061 IMG_9063

Early the next morning the 5-guy relay team prepares for what will be a 3:09 marathon. It’s 5am and we wake up before dark to do push ups on built-in bookshelves. It’s the life of crazy runners.

I ran a 2:02 half-marathon and enjoyed every mile in the strip, through the North Shore, down Carson Street, over the West End bridge, and then the Birmingham bridge which led to an elevated view of the city before running back into downtown to complete the race. The pack of runners never really thinned out. I was however, able to find my cheering parents along Carson Street.

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A nice shot from the running competitor.

Clara Santucci, a girl who I can watch running often around Morgantown, won the woman’s marathon! The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a nice feature on her here.

Our large group enjoyed dinner across the river from the finish line at Station Square sharing stories about the unseasonably warm weather, the funny signs, the spectators and the bands. Our seasoned marathoner friend ran a 4:18, and the girls running behind her came in about an hour later. I ran alone but finished within minutes between two of the 7 @ 7ers. I couldn’t catch a new friend who ran the half in the 1 hour 40 minute range but the fastest of the girls almost caught him. She ran the 1/2 marathon with a 7:30 minute mile pace! Cheers to all of the finishers!

This weekend promises a run with a finish at Morgantown’s Farmer’s Market. Welcome summer.

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