Pittsburgh adds half-marathon to calendar
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Pittsburgh runners waited six years for the marathon to return to the city last May.
Now, in addition to having that full 26.2-mile spring race, they also have the new MedExpress Spirit of Pittsburgh Half Marathon to look forward to.
The 13.1-mile half-marathon, founded by Columbus, Ohio-based Run Wild Racing, will take place Nov. 1, beginning and ending in the SouthSide Works. Run Wild CEO and race director Doug Grout said it will be a fairly flat, fast course that will cross four bridges and encompass some of the city's best scenery.
The total purse for the event will be $37,000, and Grout hopes to have elites from around the world included among the maximum 5,000 runners at which they'll cap registration.
Grout said the difference between his race series -- currently at two races with the first this weekend in Columbus -- and others is that he wants to put the race back in racing.
"Lots of races today focus on come one, come all," Grout said. "Ours really emphasizes providing a celebration to people for their efforts. This is the culmination of three, six, nine months of training with the purpose of running a half-marathon. It's more along the lines of the attitude that the people are going to give it everything they have. It's not just about finishing. It's about coming in and racing."
With that in mind, runners must keep a sub-15-minute mile pace or risk getting picked up in the SAG vehicle that travels in the back of the pack.
Last year was the first Spirit of Columbus half-marathon, and the race had 800 entrants, with 41 elites. They capped registration for this year's race at 2,000 and have 93 elites.
Grout said that Pittsburgh was already on his radar screen as a possible expansion location, but the successful partnership with the Pittsburgh Marathon made it an even better fit.
"Our race is a complement to their race," Grout said. "People who are planning to do the marathon next year can have a fall race to kick off their training."
There are currently 1,700 people registered for the half-marathon, and Grout hopes to attract 40 to 50 elites in the first year.
Two-person relay, race walk and wheelchair options are also available. For more information on the MedExpress Spirit of Pittsburgh Half Marathon, visit www.spiritofpittsburgh.com.Additional Information:
Get ready now
Hotel space for the Great Race, which will be run Sept. 27, may be affected by the international G20 summit, which will held downtown Sept 24 and 25.
Race officials are advising people to consider booking rooms as soon as possible. A list of hotels, plus information on a special rate at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Greentree, is available at www.rungreatrace.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.