Four days from now, I will have hopefully crossed the finished line of the Pittsburgh Half Marathon for the second time.
One of the really fun things about this race is how involved the entire city gets in the months before the starting gun, and on race day. Pittsburghers really love their sports, and the marathon is no exception.
Two weeks ago, University of Pittsburgh Health Plans - the sponsor of the half marathon - started a contest called #OnYourRun. The rules were pretty simple. Take a picture of something you see on your run and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #OnYourRun. They would choose what they thought were the best five pictures, and let the public vote on them.
Since I started blogging over a year ago, I have also become a bit of a photographer. I keep my phone in hand all the time and snap picture everywhere I go. And since I love taking random shots of the scenery while I run, the contest was the perfect fit.
So, I entered the picture above.
The scene is a park down the street from my house that I run past all the time. The day after the Boston Marathon bombings, I set out for my morning run still shaken, confused and heartbroken over the events of the previous day. In the middle of my second mile, I passed by the park, and saw the flag flying at half staff, like all the other flags around the country. And in the quiet stillness of daybreak, I took the picture and then stood a minute longer, thinking of Boston and of running. And then I continued on, comforted somehow by this show of support in my hometown.
Well, the picture I took made the top five, and voting is open through tomorrow night.
If you feel so inclined, click here to check out the five finalists and vote for your favorite (hopefully mine!).