"It's a little self indulgent..." - My mom
"After I read a sentence, I get mad at myself for caring what you're doing." -Karl Dusen

Friday, February 11, 2011

Favorite Pittsburgh Runs #6

Sewickley Heights
The home of Gary Young and his house guest Derek Bond, who ran the 1995 Sewickley 5k in 15:00.
North of Sewickley, the hills slow down your pace, but not your intensity. It's the local training ground for Hounds Jeremy and Jocelyn Cornman and the routine biking route for Matt Ciccone. It's no wonder Quaker Valley's cross country and track teams have done so well with a place like that to train. It's a bit of a hike from the city, but once you get there it's well worth it. None of the roads are particularly great shortcuts, so vehicle traffic is delightfully light. You can run down the middle of the road most of the time, if you are so bold. It does give the feeling of a long road race.
I first ran it in 2009 after driving back from New York for my friend Dave's bachelor party, which was fueled mainly by 4+ pounds of meat I ate two nights before at a Brazilian steakhouse. I was in Sewickley for Jocelyn's birthday party and had to get a run in before I ate anything and found this route suited me nicely.
The incline gets a little more serious after passing Hallaway Road, and by time you reach Beech Ridge Road on Campmeeting Road, it's getting tough. The downhill that comes with Backbone Road, however, is a smooth reward for all the climbing.
Cutting through Walkers Park is an option on the way back down hill.

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