Monday, August 29, 2005

Run Around The Square Weekend

This weekend’s main event was the 24th Annual Run Around The Square 5k and 1.5 mile fun run – Regent Square’s end-of-summer party and signature event. The whole neighborhood seems to participate in the event in some way, whether as a runner, volunteer, water (or other beverage) station host, or spectator. The post-race party in Frick Park is widely regarded as one of the best post-race events in Pittsburgh. This fun spirit, and a beautiful but challenging course combine to make our neighborhood race the 2nd largest running race in Pittsburgh after The Great Race.

This year I "ran" the 1.5 miler with R. pushing S & T in “the chase car,” a borrowed double jog stroller. R. improved his time in the race by almost 10 minutes from the previous year and finished 4th, just outside the trophies for his age group. It is really fun to watch him run confidently down the street in pursuit of his friends, C & J M, and to see the competitive spirit and will power come to the surface. R. easily ran at least 1 mile of the 1.5 m race, and was very proud as GSully paced him to the finish line for a well-deserved drink, raspberry and blueberry Rita’s Italian Ice and a finishers blue ribbon.

We’re all very proud of GSully who completed her first-ever 5k, beating her goal time of 40 minutes to finish in about 39 minutes. It has taken a lot of will power to juggle nap times, navigate school schedules and appointments and coordinate schedules with neighbors for her to find time to fit in runs, (something I wish I could be helpful with more often), and to find the right shoes.

Our neighbor Tom O'Rourke continued his streak as the fastest man in The Square, finishing 4th overall at 16:55, a blistering 5:27 pace, just 4 seconds out of second place and less than 20 second behind the overall winner Matt Meurer.

That evening, we celebrated with 3 other families – the N’s hosted the M’s, the T’s and us at their house for a good meal and good company. As usual, kids outnumbered adults, 12-8.


At 10:22 PM, Blogger gsully said...

While running a 5k in 39 minutes may not sound like any great feat, I must tell you that 1) I have never been a runner, and 2) I am just shy of 4'11", so, needless to say, my strides are not exactly long ones. In fact, when I go walking with my husband, I have to take 10 steps for every six of his in order to keep up. I also have been battling some painful shin splints. I say all this not as an excuse, but simply to explain why I am proud of my meager 12 1/2 minute miles. It's a fairly hard course, with almost half of it uphill, but the best part is the finish, when you get to emerge from the woods on a steep downhill trail. As I came across the mat, my 2-year-old girl darted out of the crowd with a big smile, and suddenly I felt proud for a whole other reason. I'm glad I was able to show her that I can run more than a dishwasher or a vacuum cleaner. And, who knows- maybe by next year, I'll have my minutes- per-mile pace down to 12!


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