Marathon number 24 was the Pittsburgh Marathon on 3 May 2009.

3:25:33 chip time, 3:27:52 on the clock. 30 out of 242 in my age group, 314 out of 3249 finishers, 273 out of 2154 men. 9/41 from North Carolina, 2/3 named Brady, 10/77 named David. The splits are at dbontherun. I didn't have any particular goal for this marathon, but wanted to run even splits, which amazingly enough I did (even picking it up a bit in miles 24 and 25.) I didn't really feel much pain until the last mile, although I was plenty stiff after finishing. I took brief pit stops at miles 9 and 19. The weather was perfect, temperature in the 50's with a light mist falling on the second half.

We stayed at the Omni William Penn Hotel, which is close to the start. It was great to be able to walk to the start and back, the hotel was great about allowing late departure at 1. The start was pretty crowded and relatively narrow (there were 4100 half-marathoners and 400 some relay teams.), the crowd barriers wander around a couple of corners. Thus it took some time to get across the start and the first mile was pretty cramped. After the first 3-4 miles I was able to run my own pace, however. One great thing about the slow start and the fabuluos weather was that I was able to chase the 3:30 group most of the run rather than being passed by them (as I was in Miami). I caught the 3:40 group early in the run, first saw the 3:30 group around mile 9 but lost them after a 1 minute pit stop. As is often the case, the pace groups were big clogs in the crowd. But the guy leading the 3:30 group went a couple minutes ahead of the clock pace (and well ahead of the chip pace). As I watched him over a collapsing distance from mile 15, his group slowly spread and thinned. When I finally caught him at mile 24 he was pretty much all alone. I imagine that he finished not much behind me. It was great to have something to chase on a beautiful day for chasing.

The best part of this run was, of course, that we had the entire family together. Kate is at Carnegie Mellon. She took us to a brown bag performance of the Pittsburgh Opera right after we landed Saturday and we had a great walk around the Strip District of Pittsburgh.We went out to dinner at Bravo Franco, an Italian restaurant across the street from Heinz Hall in the cultural district. We sat down on the sidewalk just as the orchestra, the opera and the playhouse shows all began, so we had a fun time during dinner watching tuxes rush to various theaters.

We visited CMU after the run and then headed home. Closing in on closing out the East, which is strange for a westerner.

Rachael ran the half and got to see the marathon winners finish an hour ahead of me. She ran 2:18:28 (chip)/ 2:25:11 (clock). Kassahun Kabiso won in 2:22.51.

Here is a picture of Rachael and I at the start:

Pittsburgh start



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