Since I am running the Runners World Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon this morning I thought it would be appropriate for my Pittsburgh Half Marathon Race recap to finally see the light of day. 😉
My dad and I got into Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon, the race was on Sunday May 4th. We stopped by the expo and I was thrilled that they had so much official merchandise this year! It seemed to be more than I remember in the past. I was even able to purchase a Sweaty Band personalized for the race! So cool. I was on the hunt for Watermelon Nuun too and found it, so the expo was a success for me.
We grabbed dinner at the hotel restaurant since they had some pasta options that were on the lighter side (no alfredo sauce for this girl the night before a race).
I set out my clothes and hit the sack.
As soon as my alarm went off I woke up immediately – I can never sleep great the night before an early wake up call for a race.
I had my typical breakfast of granola + almond milk as we hung out in the breakfast area of the hotel. There were tons of other runners there too which was cool. Our hotel was a quick walk to the start area and we found our corral with no issues. Though I have to say, the corrals were larger than I remembered them being in the past. I was in the last corral (D) and the paces in that corral ranged from around 11 minute mile, all the way to 13. I was glad we got there a bit early so we could make our way to the middle without many issues.
Ready to go!
I had also been busily texting Sarah and I was so psyched when I saw her walking towards me based on my text directions!! We had never met in person before but it was so great to meet here and talk to her before the race started. It was my first blogger meet up ever. 🙂
The race started a bit late – if I remember right it was supposed to start at 7 and the elites didn’t even take off until about 7:10. There was also a ton of crowding in the corral ahead of us – so much so, many runners were waiting on the sidewalk to get through the gates into the corrals (the gates are part of the security Pittsburgh has instituted for the race). I have never experienced this race starting late before, so I was super surprised when it happened. Hopefully they will figure out whatever went wrong and fix it for next year. 🙂
Luckily Sarah and I were chatting the whole time so I hardly noticed that the time had passed. It was warm out but a little bit of rain was drizzling. I knew as soon as we started running I would warm up.
About 7:15 or so I crossed the start line!
My strategy for this race was to use 2/1 Run/Walk intervals. Unfortunately I unintentionally ran through the first walk interval because of the loud crowds and the excitement. The second time through I started with my intervals.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This course is gorgeous. You get to start by running through downtown, you cross a bunch (I think 5?) bridges throughout the race, and you go through a bunch of really cute neighborhoods, ending by Duquense on a downward hill back into downtown.
I took a few photos of the bridges – though I wish I had taken more.
It was definitely a bit overcast but I didn’t mind the lack of sun at all. 🙂
I finished in 3:11:44. Better than last years Pittsburgh Half but not as good as my most recent half. I did that thing where I lost it in the 2nd half of the race again – my 10k split was 1:26:xx and then I slowed down significantly before the finish. Not my best race performance wise but I had a great time in a great city!