I finally got race number 21 completed and in the last third of this journey. I was suppose to run a 5k last weekend but I ended up working so I had to find a catch up race. I found this local community mile race that I thought would be good and plus I wanted redemption from the Liberty Mile.
The race, Morningside Mile, took place in the Morningside neighborhood and having never run in this area, I knew nothing about the course. I did not pre-register for the race, but it was a small race so I figured going early on race day wouldn’t be an issue. The only bad part of that is that I ended up paying $25 for the race and not $20. The race was raising funds for the Fischer House, so at least I knew it was going to a good cause.
The race started at 9am, but I was there by 8am to register. When I pulled up, it was nice seeing a friendly face from the Elite Runners and Walkers Training group. Jody was handling registrations so it was quick and easy. Since this race was a point-to-point race and they were calling for rain the entire time, I decided to drive closer to the finish line and park there. I figured if I was soaked after the race, I could quickly grab a long sleeve or something and not have to walk the mile back to my car. Plus the walk to the start line was a nice little warm up.
This race was by every definition a fun community oriented race. There were lots of families and lots of walkers. Prior to the start of the race, they honored a local Vet (the theme of this race was honoring those who served) and I thought that was very sweet. They started the race about 12 minutes late. At 9am, when the race was to start, is when they started the announcements, anthem, etc. Finally everything was done and we were off. Since I walked the course I knew what to expect and within the first tenths of the race, there was two turns. I just tried to stay clear of all the kids.
Even though this was only a mile race, it felt forever long. I didn’t look at my watch each quarter mile and I wish I would have changed my watch to capture those splits. Oh well. The only split I remember was when I looked at my watch at the half mile marker. It sad 4:06. Not bad I thought. Obviously I didn’t have a negative split, but I also didn’t completely blow it in the second half.
Of course since it was a small community race there were lots of kids on the course. I have to say though either they were faster than me or I was faster than them as I didn’t see them to be a bother on the course. This was a first!! They would stop after sprinting their legs off but they stayed to the side of the course. Someone taught them well.
The second half mile of the course had a very small upgrade right after the half mile marker and about a 40m uphill to get to the finish. The only nice thing about that last uphill was you were coming off the biggest downhill, so at least for me I had some nice momentum. I could also hear two people right behind me, so I pushed hard starting at the 200m mark.
I was pretty happy to see the clock say 8:14! I really had no idea what to expect, but as long as I beat my Liberty Mile time (8:34) I would be happy. Afterwards we all headed to the local school for awards and post race snacks.
The main reason I hung out is that I knew there weren’t many females in front of me. I was hoping I’d place in my age group, but after about 40m waiting around, I finally got results from someone and I was second. Of course this race only did awards for first place in the age group. Even if I didn’t snag an actually award, I was still very happy finishing second.
After all of that was over, I headed to my car to grab my fuel belt. I still wanted to get in some miles so I ended up with another 5.3 around a few neighborhoods and really enjoyed myself. There was a light mist most of the time and it just felt great. The miles started SUPER slow but I was able to pick it up for the last 2.5 miles.
Overall, I was pretty happy with this race. This is the third different mile race I’ve done in Pittsburgh and of the three I’d say it’s the least likely one to PR. Even still, it’s a race I’d run again to push to get under that dreaded 8-minute mile.
Official Finish Time:
2/9 Females, 30-34
8/65, Overall Females