PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After 36 years, the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race is one of the top cultural, social and fitness events in the region.
"It's every person's race," said race director Tim Ishman. "No doubt about it. It's such a community festival."
A record, 15,500 runners and walkers showed up for the 5K and 10K races, starting at Frick Park and Oakland. It's a reunion for one group, that ran in the first event in 1977 with no plans to stop.
"I suffered cardiac arrest," said runner Ken Balky. "And for me to come out and do this, every year, it's a celebration of life – and to be with these guys, it's just tremendous."
"Hopefully, until I die," runner John George said with a laugh. "I say now, I don't go for a run, I go for a shuffle."
PHOTO GALLERY! Check out more photos from The Great Race at this link!
Also back, was the Chartiers Valley High School basketball team, building team spirit and making a prediction for the season.
"We'll be pretty good," said runner Kyle Westover. "Working hard – we'll be pretty good."
They're part of a new generation of runners, starting earlier and earlier.
"My mom was on the track team," said runner Jacklynn Kuhn. "She got me running when I was six."
"When I was in fourth grade, I did track," said runner Meridith Harrison.
Thousands compete for prizes, but there's also competition among husbands and wives, even fathers and sons.
There was also some words of encouragement from KDKA's Andy Sheehan – and accomplished runner himself.
"I salute all of you for being out there every day, on the trails," Sheehan said, "and making Pittsburgh and our region one of the great health and fitness meccas of America."
With the sound of a starter's pistol, the 10K got underway with thousands heading for the finish line.
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