Take the Stairs Fatass 50k – DNF

RATS #00213: Take the Stairs Fatass 50k (DNF) Got 17 miles in

Last Saturday I decided to take a shot at the 50k “Take the Stairs Fatass” route. The weather was pretty good, but I got a late start (it was close to noon) by the time I got out. Now, treating this more seriously than I did the 25k route, I suited up like I was doing Hyner. I dug into my ultra gear box where I found treasures such as TP and hand wipes.

Much of the route I’ve documented already, but I did hit a number of new streets and stairs. I also had the good fortune to meet up with Sherpes Hasher, who was doing the route in the opposite direction. There were a couple of snafus – Vista Street steps are under construction, which I had forgotten. Early on, I added in the steps from Howard St to Compromise Street, an effort which likely contributed to an overall DNF. But, I’m not too sad about this DNF, I covered seventeen miles with over 3,500 feet of elevation and traversed at least 37 sets of city stairs before calling it a day on Wyoming Ave.

Here are the pics. Take Dramamine now if you have vertigo…

Spring Hill City View Area

Rising Main and Fineview

Perry South/Marshall/California-Kirkbride

West End & Elliot

Duquesne Heights & Mount Washington

That’s all, folks! One day, I will persist!

Wells of Steps

RATS #00212 – Duquesne Heights

This was a few miles around Duquesne Heights – the stepchild of Mount Washington. While my main purpose was to completely traverse Well Street, I made it from the great views of Grandview Avenue to the industrial bottom of Shaler Street.

I started out on Grandview Avenue. The view never gets old, especially on a clear sunny evening.

The grid of streets below Grandview are lined with modest houses with small yards. The alleys here mainly give access to garages and garden gates. They are also ideal playgrounds. Nice to see hopscotch markings and some gratitude for the garbage workers, but watch out for crouching panthers.

Shaler Street is a back-way off of Mt. Washington. It falls steeply through the Duquense Heights greenway and emerges between the pink buildings of the Minnotte Manufacturing Company. I ran around the block before heading back up the hill.

Finally, I started on Well Street, my target. From Shaler Street, it jumps up, hill after hill, stair after stair, until it reaches Oneida Street.

Well Street steps – some of them at least

Completing Well Street, I made my way back to the car. Another cool run in a super hilly section of Pittsburgh.

March 2020 Catch-Up

March 2020 will go down in history as the month in which the coronavirus exploded in the United States. According to World Meter’s Coronavirus stats, on March 1st, there were 75 cases of Covid19 in the U.S. By April 1st, there were over 200,000 cases. In this, the first week of April, we’re at over 336,000 cases and over 9,000 deaths. This has had a huge impact on everyone, locally, regionally and globally. Professional sports has been shut down. Restaurants, and non-essential businesses are shut down. Everyone is being told to stay home, except for grocery shopping and exercise.

Against this backdrop, my project to run all the streets of Pittsburgh seems pretty petty, but I’m lucky I can still do it. Also since all group running, even in two’s, is verboten, I’ve had the unencumbered opportunity to run solo and cover many new streets this month. Twenty runs covered new streets. My running mileage was 161 miles with more elevation than ever. I’m over 35% complete with the streets of Pittsburgh, according to CityStrides. I’ve covered dozens of staircases. Here are a few of the runs I didn’t get a chance to blog about during March.

RATS #00193

RATS #00193

A dark run in Lawrenceville. Probably late for a PBR run, come to think of it.

RATS #00196

RATS #00196

This was a late Thursday evening run in Lawrenceville. This was a little somber because I went to a viewing before running. A co-worker’s Dad had passed away from a long illness. So, no pics.

RATS #00205

RATS #00205, lower Oakland with a bit of Greenfield

This was an interesting run in the early evening. Mainly, it was in Four Mile Run, a little hollow of houses wedged between Greenfield Avenue and the Parkway East.

But first, lets get the steps out of the way. I’m not sure whether the steps from Greenfield Avenue up to the defunct Greenfield Elementary School are “official”, but they are in good shape and lead to a ball field. The steep steps from Sylvan Street to Waldeck Street offer a quick, though heart-pounding route into the heart of Greenfield. On the bottom, the steps from Greenfield Avenue to Alexis Street lead into the Four Mile Run hamlet. On the other hand, the Anthony Street Stairs, next to an impressive Byzantine Catholic Church, essentially go nowhere.

Four Mile Run is dominated by highway overpasses. It is surprisingly large, with several miles of roads winding under the bridges.

But, as anywhere, people make the most of their surroundings and decorate for upcoming holidays.

Easter Decorations

RATS #00207

RATS #00207

This run was to catch a few streets off of Hazelwood Avenue, including the Hilltop Street Stairs. From Winterburn Avenue, it was easy to see Hilltop steps.

Hilltop Street at Winterburn

However, off of Parnell, they were better hidden.

“Go halfway down the street, look for a yellow bush on the right.” I was a bit dubious, but these were, actually, the correct directions.

The yellow bush marks the spot! Following the dirt path, you get to the next section of steps.

The next few streets are remarkably flat and deserted. Perfect for the kid zooming past me on a four-wheeler. I trotted back to Hazelwood Avenue and jogged back up the hill.

RATS #00209

RATS #00209

This was a big loop in the West End, Elliott and Sheraden. With no phone, I didn’t catch any pictures. It was a shame because Glen Mawr Street, from West Carson Street up into Sheraden is quite the trip. Sidewalk steps, a twelve-foot high viaduct under an active railroad track all made for an exciting run. I also managed to get from the West End to Sheraden on small residential roads. It was a beautiful day and a nice run.

RATS #00211

RATS #00211

An evening run through Bloomfield on a wet Spring evening. Passed a WWI Memorial which I had never payed attention to before. the police tape of the playground is to enforce social distancing. While there are many businesses in this area, there are still single family houses and, of course, new condos.

And that’s all for March. It’s a topsy-turvy world out there and I hope everyone stays healthy.

Rainy Day in Sheraden

RATS #00208 – Sheraden

This run took me back to my first “RunalltheStreets” run, which started in Esplen and went up the hill to Brunot Avenue and Glasgow Street. Today I started on Allendale Circle. Allendale Circle is a newer development of townhouses. Just past the circle, the small streets and alleys are filled with typical Pittsburgh foursquares. Most everyone has at least a little yard and there are lots of dogs behind fences. The hillier area near Hammond Street and Narcissus Avenue features overlooks of the Ohio River and McKee’s Rocks Bridge.

In this last picture, the street falls away sharply. Notice the blue arches of the bridges in the center of the picture and the beginnings of a stairway on the right. That stairs takes you up Glasgow Street.

But not all stairs are as solid as the Glasgow Street Stairs. Off of Adon Street, which is actually blocked off to cars, there’s a significant set of stairs up to Fairdale St. They looked promising, but fall away unexpectedly.

There is a nice flight down to Sheraden Park, with a chalk square emblazoned between the raindrops.

The rain started again in earnest and I scooted back to my car, a little over six miles done.