At a glance
I registered to the first edition of the EQT 10 Miler being held in Pittsburgh in 2013 (Sunday, November 3). The registration fees were $40, which is honest/moderate for such a distance. Some will argue that this is on the expensive side for a first edition, but, considering the race and the quality of the organization, this is really worth it.
The race go around the South and North side of Pittsburgh. We started at Station Square and go in the North Side, crossed several bridges and go on Penn and Liberty avenues (two main avenue in the city). The road was clear with plenty of space. There was aid station and water stop. Several pacers were here in case you want to maintain a specific pace and they also give an estimate arrival time. The finish is at the EQT building in downtown.
The organization of the event was just great. The packet pick up was quick, simple and efficient. In less than 5 minutes, everything was done. The starting line was not too packed and it was pretty easy to pass the slowest runner and get your own pace. The course itself was really nice, crossing the bridges and passing by the North Side area is something you will enjoy, especially because many runners (at least the one I know) are not used to this area. The finish line was also well organized, with plenty of food and water.
The packet contains a nice tech shirt and you get a medal once you cross the finish line. Many race at that price does not provide such a package, most of them have regular shirt you do not use for training.
There was a pasta dinner organized but few people attended. As a volunteer, I was invited and the location (the Gateway Clipper) was really great, offering a nice view of Pittsburgh. The food option was basic (pasta, yogurt and cookies) but accurate for people racing within few hours. Unfortunately, few people came to the dinner. It would have been better to get more runners on the boat and make a tour. Maybe the dinner should be announced before and more explicit to try to get more people on board.
The only thing I did not really understand was the number of elite athlete invited to the race. Although it is obvious that having well-known athletes brings some challenge, some reported that there was so many of them that it was almost impossible to get a prize. This is not clear if having such athletes is really important for other runners and finally, it does not matter or impact the quality of this race: the overall feedback among the runner community is very good and this is what really matters. And this is probably because I have no interest in professional runners: even if I respect work and performance of professional athletes, I do not read famous journal (such as Runners Worls) and have no real interest on that topic. So, probably not my thing and might interest other folks.
Pros and cons
- Organization: water stop, aid station, etc.
- Route through the Bridges and North Side
- Atypical distance
- Pasta Dinner: trying to get more runners and make a tour around the city !
Let’s do it ?
Sure ! If you live in Pittsburgh, there is no reason for skipping it. If you do not live in Pittsburgh, this is a good opportunity to try a new race among this great city. Considering the organization, the package and the overall experience, this is a well-priced race you will enjoy for sure. So, let’s do it again !