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Estimated 15,000 Participants Take Part In 2012 Great Race

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There was plenty of support and encouragement for runners as they prepared for the annual Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race at Frick Park Sunday morning.

"I see you guys out there every day on the trails and on the roads and on your bikes and running, and you are really transforming this city," KDKA's Andy Sheehan told the crowd at the start line.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl fired the starter's pistol, opening the flood gates for the thousands of runners making the 10 kilometer trek to Downtown Pittsburgh.

"They are the meat and potatoes of the program, and it's been growing from the first year in 1977; this race has grown from 1,000 participants to 15,000 this year," said Great Race Director Mike Radley.

Some runners look forward to the Great Race every year.

"It's just the electricity of the crowd, everyone is doing it for the same reason," said participant Steve Elmore. "It's just electric."

Patty Noch from South Fayette ran with her kids.

"I'm happy for her, you know. She's doing what she loves," said Dylan Noch, Patty's son.

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While many participants are from the Pittsburgh area, some journeyed from out of town to take part. Valerie Navin is originally from Pittsburgh, but now lives in Atlanta.

"I'm visiting family; see mom and dad, friends," she said. "It's beautiful weather, beautiful race."

The 35th annual Great Race will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Richard S. Caliguiri Amyloidosis Fund, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting research of the rare protein disorder.

The race is also called a community fun run because it brings runners, walkers and other fitness enthusiast together to support a worthy cause.

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