Today I competed in my second Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
By “competed,” I mean I tried to 1) finish, 2) without injury or embarrassment, and 3) with a better time than last year. I managed the trifecta!
With an official time of 1:49:05 (pace=8:19) I came in 1305th place overall, and 51st in my age group (50-54.) 51 years old and I came in 51st. Kinda cool. This outpaced last years race with an overall time of 1:50:46 (pace = 8:26) and an overall place of 1802 which put me 72nd in my age group.
I’m not sure how many half marathon runners there were, but let’s just say there were a lot. I lost count, oh, about 10 yards into the race. (According to the website, there were 14,127 in the half marathon and 3,681 places in the marathon.)
The weather started out iffy, and it drizzled/rained for the first couple of miles.
It was actually a little refreshing, but it became a little humid after the rain stopped. At the last minute, I switched from a T-shirt to a long sleeved shirt. Mistake. Should have trusted my weather.com temperature predictions! Instead, I looked out the window of my hotel and saw a lot of people wearing long sleeved shirts and light windbreakers. Psyched myself out. It’s kind of like reviewing your answers on a test and changing a correct one at the last moment because of second guessing. Oh well.
I seemed to be the most popular runner. I kept hearing, over and over again, “GO TODD!” Now, I did have an ear bud playing music in one ear, and there was a lot of background race noise, so it is slightly possible that these folks were yelling “GOOD JOB!”, but I think they were cheering me on.
One sign read: “IF TRUMP CAN RUN, SO CAN YOU!” Thought that was pretty funny right there.
Another one said “SHORTCUT” with an arrow pointing away from the main course. I thought about it, but it seemed a little questionable, especially since the arrow looked like it pointed to a parking lot. Maybe they offered a shuttle service to the finish line? Had it pointed to a bar offering free beer, I’d have gone for it.
And, as I passed a group of young women sporting Nittany Lion logos on the back of their tank tops, I said “GO PENN STATE!” as I passed them. A guy running next to me then yelled, “Penn State! Let’s hear it.” So someone else started yelling “WE ARE!” and a chorus of “PENN STATE!” ensued. After three cheers, the cheerleader yelled “THANK YOU!” and we all politely responded, “YOU’RE WELCOME!”
Never had that happen in a race before.