The second annual "Pirates 5K Home Run" took place on April 21 on Pittsburgh's North Shore, and it drew more than 3,000 participants while netting $48,000 for Pirates Charities' many initiatives. The course for the race began on Federal Street and then proceeded down along the Allegheny River and back before coming into PNC Park and finishing on the field.
"We were thrilled by the turnout again this year. It exceeded our first-year participation by almost a thousand runners," said Pirates President Frank Coonelly, who is an avid runner himself. "We had a wonderful day. It was perfect running weather, and for me, the greatest thing about the race is seeing the thrill on the faces of the fans as they come through the tunnel and finish the race on the warning track at PNC Park."
The event is open to fans of all ages and abilities. Runners can choose to participate in the 5K individually or take part in the team challenge, where groups of four runners compete against other teams based on an average overall time. The top runners in each group were recognized on the field at PNC Park prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals that night. Fans who did not wish to run could still participate by walking the 5K route or entering the "One Mile Family Fun Run."
All participants were invited to a post-race party on Federal Street, plus they received a commemorative t-shirt and a ticket voucher good for that night's game, or any game during the Pirates' April 23-25 series against the Colorado Rockies at PNC Park.
When Coonelly was asked if there will be a third Pirates "5K Home Run," he immediately replied: "Oh we'll be back next year, bigger and better than ever. This is a great running town. The Pittsburgh Marathon has become more and more popular, and our race fits into a very tight race calendar and continues to grow. There seems to be an insatiable appetite for running in Pittsburgh."