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Runners Gear Up For Short, Intense Race At "Liberty Mile"

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The runners were ready Friday morning.

They were pumped up for the second annual GNC Live Well Liberty Mile.

It's a race – exactly one mile – straight down Liberty Avenue downtown.

"We know that people can do 26 through the marathon," said Patrice Matamoros with Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. "But we want to see what they can do in just one mile."

The race kicks off on 17th Street and wraps up on 6th.

About 1,200 people are expected to participate, including a number of professional and record-holding athletes from all over the country.

"I'm just looking for a really competitive race," said Chelsea Reilly of Oakland, Calif. "The field they've assembled is awesome, so I'm just looking to mix it up and challenge for the win."

Although the distance is much short than other races, the one mile comes with challenges. Some of the professional men average a time of just over four minutes.

"Each distance has its own unique qualities and a lot of people argue that the middle distances, the mile being on them, is hard as any of them in terms of the toll it takes on your body and how hard it is to finish," said Nick Berra of Mechanicsburg, Pa.

In addition to the recognition, winning comes with a prize – more than 30,000 will be handed out.

For race organizers, the event is just another chance to showcase our great city.

"For a lot of them, this is their first time," said Matamoros. "They've never been to Pittsburgh and their experience -- we want to make sure they have the most phenomenal experience ever. They get a great tour of the downtown area and a good snapshot of what we're all about when they see the fans tonight and the support Pittsburgh gives them."

Race time is set for 7 p.m. tonight.

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