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Local Running Group Is City's Largest

Running is a hot sport in the South Hills.

A phenomenon has risen from the doors of Fleet Feet Sports. The Fleet Feet Flyers has now become the largest running group in Pittsburgh, according to its marketing director.

Every Sunday morning, a group of up to 100 runners takes to the streets. Getting up with the sun on the weekend to meet at 7:15 does not stop any of the fitness enthusiasts.

Starting in 2007 with a small group of no more than 10 every week, the Fleet Feet Flyers evolved exponentially in the past year after Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh hosted a successful half-marathon and marathon training program.

Walkers and runners, training for races of all kinds, discover a pace group that best fits their ability, and set off for varying milages. The free meet-ups offer maps equipped with turn-by-turn directions for each route, water stops along the way and motivation for those who seek it.

Director of Running Groups and Running Outreach, Karen Harr, keeps things exciting by designing each route with careful detail, highlighting Pittsburgh’s most treasured neighborhoods and interests. Whether it is the “Greek Gods and Goddesses Run,” which assembled 80 runners in togas at the heart of Oakland, or the “Prehistoric Pittsburgh Treasure Hunt” featuring a route leading to Pittsburgh’s beloved dinosaur statues, each run carries a theme, keeping the group members intrigued about what will happen next.

Organizers say it's not only the size and breadth of this group that is so astounding, but the loyalty and camaraderie. Many of the members of the group took their first steps as runners together and continue to train with one another during the week outside of the Sunday group runs and Wednesday track workouts with Fleet Feet Sports coach Ryan Johnson.

For more information on the group, go to www.fleetfeetpittsburgh.com or call 412.851.9100.

Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh is located at 1751 North Highland Rd. in Bethel Park’s Norman Centre Two

Shannon lyons September 19, 2012 at 11:51 AM
This really is the best running group in the city. I've run with other groups in the past, but have found this one to be the most fun and loyal, just as this article states. The owner, coaches, and organizers go above and beyond to make each week fun, and memorable. We have all become a team, and help each other through tough runs, and acheive goals. It has become a running family for me.
Jake C September 19, 2012 at 01:01 PM
As one of the sponsors for the group, Brooks is absolutely thrilled with the opportunity to work with such and inviting, joyous group of fantastic people!!! It is people like those in this group that make my job enjoyable.
Ann Marie September 19, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I love running with the Fleet Feet Fliers. I use to be "on again off again" with exercise, would do it for awhile and then find an excuse not too. I never even "liked" running before. But this group has been amazing. I now work out during the week and have exercised consistently for over a year because I don't want to miss a Sunday run. We are already talking about 2013 marathon training because of the fun we have during training. I can't put into words the effect that this local business has had on me and thank all of those who work at Fleet Feet and my fellow Fleet Feet Fliers.

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