Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Thoughts on the Liberty Mile

I have said numerous times that the Liberty Mile is my favorite Pittsburgh race. (You can read about it here, here and here) There are a few reasons for this, the biggest being the amount of fun I have surrounding the whole event.

For those who are not from Pittsburgh, or have never ran the Liberty Mile - let me give you a quick rundown. 

The Liberty Mile is a one mile all out sprint down Liberty Avenue on a Friday night in late July/early August. There are multiple heats ranging from people like me who just want to have fun to full on elites who take to the streets as the sun is setting. There is enough time before each heat that you can watch all of them. Plus, it's so much fun to be downtown in the summer and really take in the city. 

Last week, the Liberty Mile tweeted out that they have changed the race date and the time. Instead of being a Friday night in August, it is now a Saturday morning in September. 


So here are my issues with this:

1. Why on earth would you schedule a one mile race in the beginnings of marathon season? Fast short races are a staple of summertime. If I'm running a marathon in late September/early October, I'm not risking getting hurt for a one mile sprint. 

2. There are two huge races that weekend already in Air Force and RnR Philly. Both these races are a draw for Pittsburgh runners. Akron is the week after and so is The Great Race. For people who aren't use to racing a lot, they would probably sit out the Liberty Mile to stay fresh for The Great Race. 

3. Say I wasn't racing that weekend, why would I want to run in downtown Pittsburgh on a Saturday morning? Unlike most big cities, there are very few people who actually live in downtown Pittsburgh. I doubt a lot of people would come out to cheer a one mile race on a Saturday morning. 

4. YOU OPENED REGISTRATION FOR A DATE YOU COULD NOT HOLD A RACE! I think this is the worse part of all of this. Some people already paid for registration! How can you advertise a race for a specific day and then change it almost two months later!?! I'm floored. 

5. The biggest draw of this race, for me, is that it was at night. Something completely different. It made it a truly different type of race. Now, moving it to the morning, it doesn't feel special. It feels like a normal race, and that just sucks. 

I understand that things happen and plans have to change, but I think you would have been better off with postponing the race for the year. The overwhelming amount of negative responses I have seen since the announcement makes me feel like this might be the end of my favorite race. 

I'm bummed I will have to miss it this year, but I am more upset with how everything was handled. That's just another mark against the P3R in my book. 

Were you signed up for the Liberty Mile? Will you be running with the changes made? 

10 comments:

  1. I'm so curious what event came up that they had to change it?? I'm guessing the city scheduled something else and since this is **just a race** it got the boot. Hopefully all the bad feedback they're getting will prevent this from happening in the future!

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  2. Legit! Nothing EVER happens in downtown on a Friday night! I don't wish for the race to fail, but part of me does.

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  3. Ugh. I've been wanting to do this race forever and was thisclose to signing up when I saw this tweet. I'm so mad about it for all the reasons you listed! Thought I'd finally get to experience it the way it was intended.

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    1. I'm so sorry Mar! It's just not going to be the same. Total miss. Hopefully it goes back to normal and you can come enjoy it!

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  4. I was just about to register and now I am really debating on if I want to. The nighttime crowd was the best part. A morning race just doesn't seem right for a mile

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    1. I'm not waking up early to drive and run and mile. Sorry, isn't happening. I could go right from work and keep my day moving.

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  5. Dang, that's a HUGE bummer! I share many of your negative thoughts about this change - despite not being in Pittsburgh any more to even run it. That Friday night race was what made this race so special!

    BTW, what event ended up booting the race?

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    1. They never said! They just said they had to move it. So stupid.

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  6. I have a friend who is a local elite of sorts, or at least is in my mind. He's wicked fast. I was going to head down after work to cheer for him, but suppose not.

    P3R has had several strikes in my book, just things that were handled poorly the past two years with the marathon. This announcement bums me out & might mean the end of their races for me. They don't offer me anything I can't get elsewhere for the same price, but hopefully better managed.

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    1. I swore off the Pittsburgh marathon Sunday races when I finished the relay (in under five hours) and there was NOTHING at the finish line. Everything is crazy overpriced and I can go to tons of other races that weekend and have a blast (flying pig was amazing). The problem is people will just keep paying for it, so they think they can get away with it. So sad.

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