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GBM Staff Members Take On 2024 Pittsburgh Half Marathon

The beautiful city of Pittsburgh, nestled in the hills of western Pennsylvania, has a lot of exciting things to offer. Rich in history, this city is full of art and history museums, a lively food and beverage scene, multiple major sports teams, beautiful views of the western PA landscape along with a number of local parks, and many more festivals and activities to occupy your spare time. One of the larger events that takes place annually in Pittsburgh in early May is the Pittsburgh Marathon.



Race Map provided via thepittsburghmarathon.com


The Pittsburgh Marathon is a traditional 26.2 mile marathon course that takes runners on a tour through the city, crossing 3 rivers, 5 bridges, and venturing through 14 historic Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The event also hosts a half marathon, 5k, kids marathon, and other races. The steel city streets will be closed down and turned into a race course, hosting the pounding feet of 40,000+ runners and walkers, coming from all 50 states and 24 different countries. If you're not running the race, be sure to stop by the mile 2 mark, and say hi to us at our GBM watch station! Just look for the red tent with a smiling gingerbread man on it, and help us cheer on the runners!


Gingerbread Man Running Company is also very proud to say that three of our own employees will be running this years Half Marathon! From our Pittsburgh location, we have our manager Keith, and our employee Steve. Representing Greensburg, we have another one of our managers, Sam. We wanted to check in with them before the race to see how they are feeling, and see how they prepare for a big race.


Check out the half marathon course below, and see what Sam, Keith, and Steve have to say about their preparations for this years race.

Race Map provided via thepittsburghmarathon.com


INTERVIEW WITH SAM, KEITH, AND STEVE FOR THE 2024 PITTSBURGH HALF MARATHON


Q: Is this your first time running a half marathon? If not, have you run the PGH Marathon/Half Marathon before? 


Sam: This is my first half marathon.


Keith: No, I have run in about six other half marathons and two other full marathons. 


Steve: This is my first time running the half marathon, though I have run in the full marathon twice.


Q: What time are you hoping to get? How confident are you that you will achieve it?


Sam: I just plan on getting across that finish line! No matter what, it'll be a PR, right? Jokes aside, I am feeling well-trained and really optimistic about keeping a steady pace the entire time.


Keith: I am hoping for 2:16 again. Either around there or better, preferably. 


Steve: I'm hoping for a 1:40(ish) time. I'm 50% confident about it, but I have a bad knee, so we will see.


Q: What shoes will you be wearing?


Sam: Brooks, Launch GTS 9. Light-weight, responsive, and supportive. Love it!


Keith: That is still up for debate at the moment. Either my New Balance SuperComp Trainers or my SuperComp Elite. I've trained in both, so it could really go either way. It will come down to a game day decision.


Steve: I'll be wearing the Saucony Endorphin Elite (Lime Green).


Q: What's one thing you always have with you on race day?


Sam: I will never go running without my Garmin watch! I personally use a Forerunner 265s.


Keith: As an asthmatic, I always have my handy dandy inhaler with me, just in case. Other than that, I will have my phone with me out there, and the occasional mustard packet. I usually don't need GU or any nutrition during the event.


Steve: In a race? GU. For emergencies only.


Q: What is the first song on your marathon playlist?


Sam: The Distance by CAKE. I am "racing and pacing", after all. 


Keith: I am a shuffle type of guy, but did you know that Gingerbread Man Running Company has a playlist on Spotify? It's a daily vibe. 


Steve: I don't listen to music when I run. Never have. Probably never will. I'm in my zone. Though I might have music in my head.


Q: What do you like to eat before a big race? 


Sam: I unfortunately struggle on a daily basis with nutrition due to chronic gastrointestinal issues. Before a race, my nerves make my stomach even worse! I try to stick to things that are easiest to digest (ex. eggs, bananas, plain cooked potatoes, yogurt, plain canned tuna). My taste buds may be disappointed, but we all need to make sacrifices.


Keith: I am very simple. I just do a small protein shake, maybe 2-3 hours before the race, with banana and chia seeds. Complex carbs is the name of the game. 


Steve: Clif Bar and Coffee


Q: What will you be looking forward to stuffing yourself with after the race?


Sam: Either a cheesy slice of pizza, or some sushi. I usually crave one or the other after a long run.


Keith: PIZZA! However, it is my friend's birthday that day. Feliz Cumple Alex! So it depends on where we go.  


Steve: Anything I can get my hands on. ...and beer!


Q: Do you have any advice for someone running their first marathon/half marathon?


Sam: Runners are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Don't be afraid to join your local run club. I've learned so much and kept up a lot of my motivation just by talking with other runners. They also know where all the good running spots are.


Keith: Listen to your body! There is no shame in walking for a few minutes here and there. Stop at the water and electrolytes station when you need to, early. Don't wait until you're dehydrated. Really, just have fun out there.


Steve: Do everything you can to enjoy the experience.



Good luck Sam, Keith, and Steve! We know you will all crush it!


If you are also participating in this years marathon, make sure to stop by your favorite Gingerbread Man Running Co. location and grab one of the custom commemorative race posters we had made just for this years race!


Designed by a good friend of GBM, Craig Peterson (artworkontherun) really knocked it out of the park with this design. Supplies are limited, so grab yours soon!


One last thing: we just wanted to say GOOD LUCK! from the GBM staff to all of the runners participating this weekend! Get out there and run, run as fast as you can!





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