Race Recap: The Pittsburgh Marathon Relay

Listen, this was a bit of a fun, beautiful disaster.  Here’s the TL;DR.

  • MB couldn’t run because he has a stress fracture so I ran both of our legs.
  • I got lost on the way to our relay exchanges {I rode the bus but didn’t have to}.
  • I beasted the first leg, then, well.
  • It was hot.
  • I had a ton of fun.

Here’s the extended version.


grab your champers!

We got to Johnstown late on Friday night where, again, the stomach flu was raging.  After refusing to touch anything or kiss poor Janny we hit the hay and then headed into the ‘Burgh to meet Tom and Brittany for lunch at one of my favorite spots in Oakland, the Porch.


After lunch, Tom, MB and I went down to check out the expo {spoiler alert Tom MAJOR PR-ed and MB couldn’t run because he has a stress fracture and bi-lateral shin splints} and pick up our stuff.  I’m not big on change but I agree with everyone else in that the change to the location expo to upstairs was the way to go.

Then, we went Steff’s for some delicious pasta, some amazing company and lots of giggles and hugs.

Once we landed back at Tom and Britt’s, we laid out our race great, set up our race day plan and then hit the hay.


Our wake up call was early because we had to drive down to the starting line.  We dropped Tom off for the corrals and met our running Ohana at one of the start line hotels.  Commence selfies, pictures, giggle and hugs.

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After we got everyone corralled into their corral and I freaked out and said hello to Marcella, MB and I went to breakfast.


Obviously.  After that, I told MB that I needed to get on the bus for the relay.  I needed to get to relay leg 3 and 4.  Let me tell you — there is a lot to be gleaned from signs, the race guide, probably even the website.  But no one ever wrote that in a blog, so I didn’t know that the buses were numbered for the exchanges not the relay legs.  So, I found myself on wrong bus.  Thankfully the bus driver had this happen a few times already so I had a ride back downtown.  As we were getting back to where I needed to be, a young man got on the bus and we started chatting.  Turns out my new bestie is Jeffery Eggleston who won the 2011 Pittsburgh Marathon.  He was one of the nicest, most humble and genuine runners I’ve met in a long time.  He would fit right into the Running Ohana.  So, Jeffery, you’re awesome, call us.  We love running, and doughnuts, and Virginia.  We have everything in common.


Alright, so I get downtown, jog across the bridge to the exchange that I was supposed to be at to meet Charles and then off I went.

After my first mile I ran into Chels and Coach Jeff who were coming up on her half way point of her first marathon.  Jeff let me know that Chels was doing great but she was a stitch hot and would probably not hit her time goal.  I cheered really loud for her and ran on.


I beasted up the Oakland hill, my favorite part of the marathon, and I had to go to the potty so I stopped at Panera, much to Steff’s chagrin.

After that, I got into North Oakland and the heat really started to hit me hard.  I was so proud of my splits up to that point, but I decided that I needed to take it easy so I didn’t barf or faint.  I had 7 more miles to go and I wanted to finish my leg with a smile on my face.  I let Steff know and started a very slow run walk in the direct sun.

This is when I decided to start to have so much more fun. I danced with the neighborhood supporters, I stopped and got ice cream and laid down in the shade, I talked with new and old friends.  I had so. much. fun.  I could tell that Steff was getting antsy so I kicked it into gear and met her at the relay exchange.


thank you Millie’s for the amazing ice cream

After I finished, I bussed back downtown and I started screaming that I needed a diet coke and Bruegger’s Bagels delivered.  I offered to hug the lady and she declined….? so  I sat on the curb and waited for Steff to come in.  She looked like she had just started running, no big deal.


After she came through, I walked up and met Nathan, Joe and Mike to cowbell for the finishers.  I was so proud to see Coach Jeff and Chelsea.  I was so proud of her I could have barfed, but instead I just screamed my head off.  And then came down the street I pretty much burst into happy tears — man was I proud of that girl, she’s been through a lot this year and it meant a lot to her to finish so strong.

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After Sarah finished, we walked down to the finish to take one last Ohana picture.


I had to dash because of brunch with Britt, Tom and MB.  So while the run didn’t go how I wanted, I was so happy.  I definitely nailed having a good time and spending time with some of the people that mean the most to us in the world.

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How was your most recent race?

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