Runners take part in the 2015 Pittsburgh Marathon at the starting line on Liberty Avenue Downtown on May 3, 2015.
By Gretchen McKay / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
No more excuses about holiday get-togethers or the luxury of sleeping in on weekends.
If you’re planning on running the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 1, it’s time to get started.
Saturday marks the annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Kick-off Training Run hosted by Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon and the Steel City Road Runners. And once again, it will feature a fun mix of food, free stuff and expert talks on fitness.
Along with a free group training run at 8:30 a.m. at various distances (3, 6, 8 and 10 miles) and pace options, P3R will be giving away MilestonePods, the race’s official smartphone-friendly shoe tracker that allows participants to compare stats against other registered runners on a leader board. Vendors also will be handing out samples and other runner-centric goodies, and P3R will have a pop-up store for the training gear you weren’t gifted (drats!) during the holidays.
In addition, Dick’s is hosting an Ignite the Fire Lounge, a bonfire for runners to sit/stand around and warm up before and after the run. Complimentary eats include bagels, hot chocolate, NuGo Nutrition Bars, coffee and Gatorade.
Informational sessions aimed at getting runners safely through the 16-week training season culminating in 26.2 miles on race day include injury prevention (7:30 and 10:15 a.m.), holistic health and nutrition (9:15 and 10:45 a.m.) and mental preparation (8 and 9:45 a.m.).
Check-in begins at 7 a.m. at the SCRR garage at 810 River Ave., North Shore, opposite the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. The run begins at 8:30 a.m., following a dynamic warm-up with orthopedic surgeon Vonda Wright at 8:20 a.m.
For more information or to sign up for the group run, go to thepittsburghmarathon.com/kickoffrun. There is limited free parking on site. For those running the 13.1-mile half-marathon on May 1, there will be a UPMC Health Plan Half-Marathon Kickoff Run on Feb. 6.
Other marathon training programs hosted by local running stores include Elite Runners & Walkers in Robinson (Tuesday track workouts and Saturday long runs, $60, eliterunners.com), Fleet Feet in Bethel Park (Wednesday track workouts and Sunday distance runs, $125, fleetfeetpittsburgh.com), True Runner in Shadyside (Wednesday track workouts and Saturday long runs, free, truerunner.com) and Mojo Running & Multisport of Seven Fields (Wednesday intermediate runs and Saturday long runs, $120/$125, mojorunningpittsburgh.com). Registration is required for each of these programs.
Membership to SCRR costs $40 and includes supported weekly training runs with coaching advice, pace groups and designated routes.
Gretchen McKay: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.
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