“This is 911. What is your emergency?”
“There are trolls, trolls under the bridge”
“Excuse me? Did you say ‘trolls’? Uh, what bridge and exactly what were they doing?”
“Under the Birmingham Bridge, you know, Southside Riverfront Park! Maybe not trolls, but, well, they were all sweaty and salty, breathing heavy and wearing ridiculous outfits. I daresay they were drinking as well.”
“Oh, THAT. Let me check my calendar…Yep, two weeks before the Pittsburgh Marathon. This happens every year, sir. Tapering runners, not trolls. “
But before the taper, there was one more run. The last long run of the Pittsburgh Marathon training cycle! Eight quick miles through through the Southside with PBR. We literally started underneath the Birmingham Bridge, which is so wide at that point, it’s like being in an open air warehouse. All the sign-in forms were blowing away. True to form, I got there on the later side and played catch up. The route took us up the Southside River Trail which winds along the Monongahela River. The trees were covered in that bright early-spring greenery. As we wound through the trail, I passed several groups, trying to give a friendly “Good Morning” to everyone. Not sure how much that was appreciated. At any rate, I caught up with my normal Wednesday night crew and kept pushing on. Eventually, caught up with Sasha and stayed with her for the rest of the run, as we dodged the construction sandbags and maneuvered along Carson Street, back to the start, up to Hot Metal Street and back once more.
At the end of the run, it was time to celebrate! Within a couple of minutes, everyone else finished. Huddling between the cars, we broke out chips, salty potatoes, luscious cupcakes, sausage rolls and muffins. Someone broke out the champagne and the classiest among us pulled out crystal champagne glasses! When those were finished, Dragon YumYums popped out. We periodically shuffled our chairs into a new, sunnier spots. Under the bridge, eating and drinking, several people approached us to find out what the fun was. Taper time had officially begun!