The Mario Lemieux
Foundation and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation held their annual 6.6K Run and Family Walk, presented by CONSOL Energy, on Saturday morning to raise funds for cancer research.
The unique 6.6K Run (4.1 miles), which is an homage to Penguins owner/legend Mario Lemieux, kicked off at 8:30 a.m. outside of CONSOL Energy Center and took over 6,000 participants through a tour of both downtown and the historic Southside before wrapping around back to the arena.
Following the race, all runners, walkers and volunteers were granted access to an open Penguins practice that began at 11 a.m.
Dan Bliss ran the course for the first time this year and said despite the chilly weather, it was a great overall experience.
“This is my first time here and it was fun,” Bliss said. “It’s a nice course and a nice-sized crowd. I had a good race and got to run around and see the city.”
For Chris Davis, the opportunity to race for a second year in a row was too good to pass up.
“I did it last year and it was a great experience,” Davis said. “It was a great run and a good course. They changed it up from last year and made it a little more challenging. I had a good time with it, though. My favorite part of the day was running a good time!”
John Baker of McKees Rocks was grateful for the event as well as the people running it.
“I want to thank Mario Lemieux and the foundation for having this event,” Baker said. “This is a great event for the city, the community and for the families. It’s a great way to start a Sunday in the beginning of winter. It was a well-tuned experience with a lot of volunteers and it was a very clean course to run on and well-planned.”
To make things more interesting for himself as well as his fellow runners, Baker was dressed head to toe in a Joker outfit from the Batman comics – which summed up the race as a light-hearted, fun event.
“This is my way of saying I go the extra mile to have fun,” he laughed.