This weekend I will be running for the first time as a charity runner. I chose to run as a member of Cutch's Crew which was founded by Pittsburgh Pirates' Andrew McCutchen. All proceeds benefit Pirates Charities and will be dispersed to various charities in Western PA. In 2016 some of the organizations that benefited from Cutch's Crew were Homeless Children's Education Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish, and Children's Hospital. As of this week, over $19,000 dollars has been raised by the Cutch's Crew team.
The amount of support and donations that I have received from family and friends over the past few months is absolutely overwhelming. As I pound the pavement in Pittsburgh this weekend, knowing the outpouring support that I have behind me and the lives that I will be touching while doing so is something that I have been looking forward to for months.
I cannot believe that the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon weekend is upon us! I am ready to earn my second Steel Challenge medal by taking part in the 5K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.
To celebrate the start of an awesome race weekend, I thought it would be fun to do a "5 Things Friday: The Pittsburgh Marathon Edition" to highlight the top 5 things that I am most looking forward to about this weekend. It was tough to narrow it down, but here we go.
1. Family & Friends
I always talk about that what makes a race weekend truly amazing are the people. Well, this is weekend is no different at all! Over the past few years, I have made some of the best friends that I girl could ever ask for through running. While some of these people live local, some live in various parts of the country. I cannot even begin to tell you about each of the amazing people that I am going to get to be reunited with this weekend. These people are my running Ohana - the ones that if I ever needed anything, they are just a phone call away. There will be lots of hugs, squeals, and selfies and I cannot wait to hug each of their necks!
The official kickoff to the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend is the opening of the expo! Last year the expo definetly did not disappoint and I am sure this year will be no different. With a great layout and various vendors, there is a lot of different things to check out. Of course shopping is always one of my favorite things to do, so that is always a highlight of any expo for me. However, I recently discovered that there with be some hula-hooping action happening at one of the booths - if you are lucky I will get a video of me attempting this for you.
3. Awesome Course Support
Pittsburgh knows how to rock a race course! Last year I was suffering from a nasty sinus infection that struck me the night before the half marathon. Despite feeling like my head was about to explode, the smile never left my face that morning. The amount of course support along the way was great. It is always great to have someone there to give you a high-five or ringing cow bells for you just when you need it most - especially at mile 12 of the half marathon.
Of the course of the weekend I will be crossing over many of Pittsburgh's iconic bridges which are absolutely gorgeous! If you have ever watched a Pittsburgh sporting event on television, you have likely seen an arial view of them. The view of the three rivers and downtown Pittsburgh is something that I can never get enough of, so be prepared to see quite a number of pictures to be posted this weekend. I promise to try to not overload you too much though.
4. Amazing Bling!
Of course I love the bling, I mean, who doesn't love the feeling of some hard earned hardware draped around your neck at the finish line. Trust me when I say that the Pittsburgh Marathon knows how to do medals! Last year's bling was pretty awesome. It is simplistic in a way but speaks volumes about the city in the design engraved into it. The 5K has finisher medals along with a bonus medal for taking part in the Steel Challenge, so I am running to earn 3 beautiful medals. What will they look like? We don't know! The medals are kept a secret until race weekend, so it is a really fun surprise to see. Make sure you take time to get your medal pictures after you cross the finish line - there are some pretty awesome photo ops for sure.
5. Running for a Cause
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
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