Welcome to The Pittsburgh Marathon! Er, sorry. That name isn’t corporate enough nowadays. Every social event must have a conglomerate logo attached, for publicity in advertising.
Welcome to The Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon!
(Okay, I’m a little late with making this post. The marathon happened at the beginning of May, and I meant to show everyone my day. But some stuff happened in my life that took a center stage. So you are getting this story now. Just imagine this is really May 3rd.)
On with the post . . .
I heard the marathon workers setting up the barriers to close off the side streets at 7am. Before that, I heard the church bells ring at 6am. Around that time afterward, I heard some guys shouting and a large truck backing up. By 8am, I heard loud music playing outside. At 9am, I got up as The Boss had called me in for a meeting with him on Sunday. Yet most of the bus routes had been shut down for the race. So the only way to get to our meeting was to walk. It sounded daunting, and I went online to find out how long of a walk it would take: a good 35 minutes according to Google. Since it was May, I wasn’t against trying to hoof it. This situation was way different from my snow episode where after work I was stranded downtown.
Anyhow, I took a shower, placed on my best duds, and headed out the door. Four blocks from my apartment, my cell phone rang. The Boss called. He decided to cancel our meeting.
Me (on the phone): “Oh, okay. That’s fine, The Boss, since the race has shut down all buses here because of the marathon.”
The Boss: “The race runs through your area?”
Me: “Yes, right down the main road into downtown.”
The Boss: “Oh, well, we’ll meet tomorrow at the regular time. 10:00.”
So I made my soggy way back to my apartment (did I mention it was pouring buckets of rain too). I changed my clothes but left my makeup on, deciding to take a stroll down the street and watch the runners.
There were more drunk people than runners out. Maybe I just missed the main body of jogging people.
This section of town made the race into a very big event. I suppose, by their thinking, since it shuts down the majority of the area for 6 hours, that everyone might as well get publicly drunk and celebrate. Music blared into the afternoon hours. They even had LIVE bands.
This one was the first I came across, although you might not be able to make it out. I didn't want to dash across the street in the path of the runners. A young pup band, playing newer Indie-type rock music. A drummer and two (or was it three) guitarists. Perhaps they threw in a bit of their original stuff. I continued up the street, waving at the DJ in a pub spinning records as music blared from outdoor speakers. He played more rhythm and blues than any other tunes. I bopped my head and came across the next band.
I don’t know to classify their music as Italian, Irish, or perhaps just Folk music. The band involved a flutist, a violinist (standing behind the flutist), a banjoist, a guitarist, and I’m not sure what you would call the person you can’t see behind the guitarist. Acoustics guy? He had a type of black machine with dials and switches. Maybe synthesizers? Old Italian/Irish/other people stood nearby tapping feet and nodding to the strange (although pleasantly different) songs. I held up my camera phone, silently asking if I can take a shot. The man strumming the guitar smiled his permission and I took the photo. I continued along my way.
This was the big band. Nobody looked a day under 40-ish, and I’m giving them justice on that end. They played all the old rock/heavy metal music. While I was walking along, I heard “Jumpin' Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones. You can see it is a motley, lively crew. Keyboard, drums, African drums and cymbals, and the two guitarists on the other side.
(I think I made the one guitarist feel jumpy. I couldn’t help myself. I’ve never seen live bands before while standing so up-close. I grinned and stared a little too long. He smiled back at first, then got unnerved and turned away. Oops!)
I continued on a bit more, but didn’t hear any more music and figured there wouldn’t be any bands playing right by the hospital. I made my way back home, emailing myself these photos from my camera phone to make into a story to share.
So ends my day watching rain-soaked marathon runners, drunk watchers before noontime, and a whole lot of different music played.