Runners Complete 150-Mile Relay from Cumberland, Md. to Pittsburgh, Pa. in the Second Annual GAP Relay Presented by UPMC Health Plan
October 12, 2019
More than 40 relay teams, comprised of 325 runners from 18 states, finished the two-day, non-stop adventure on the Great Allegheny Passage
PITTSBURGH (October 12, 2019) – More than 40 relay teams, comprised of 325 runners from 18 states, tested their grit during the second annual GAP Relay, held Oct. 11-12. During this epic two-day, non-stop relay adventure, teams of 4, 6 or 8 ran the entire 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage from Cumberland, Md. to Pittsburgh, Pa.
Most teams began the race at 11 a.m. or noon on Friday, October 11 in Cumberland, Md. and continued running the GAP for 16-26 hours. The weather at the start line and throughout Friday afternoon and evening was ideal running weather, and teams persevered through a few rain showers close to the finish line at South Shore Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh, Pa., on Saturday, October 12.
“The camaraderie between teammates and across teams was incredible,” said Troy Schooley, P3R CEO, at the finish line on Saturday morning. “Many teams have known each other for years, many returned for their second GAP Relay, and other teams were so new that they didn’t know one another before they met at the start line yesterday. But when they crossed the finish line together today, they let us know that they had the time of their lives.”
Defending champions – DiMarco Workhorse Plus 40 II – started the race at 4 p.m. on Friday, giving the other teams a 4-5 hour head start. Through the night, they passed all but two teams and completed the race in 15 hours, 56 minutes – and earned the championship title for the second year in a row. Team No Big Dill was the second-place overall team and first to cross the finish line at 7:07 a.m., completing the challenge in 19 hours, 7 minutes.
In its second year, the GAP Relay became the first-ever carbon neutral trail relay in the United States. Together with event partner – the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) – P3R and the Allegheny Trail Alliance estimated carbon emissions from electricity use, transportation, and water use along the course. Using that estimate, P3R and PEC purchased carbon offsets through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, which will fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the carbon impact of the event.
“Giving back to the trail and the local communities along the GAP is so important to all of us working on this race,” said Schooley. “We wanted to make sure that we left the trail and its surroundings in even better condition than we found them.”
In addition to their amazing adventure, race participants enjoyed incredible perks along the way, including:
- Special surprises at relay exchange zones from presenting partner UPMC Health Plan, as well as Brooks Running and the Comfort Inn in Connellsville;
- A swag bag filled with runner goodies from event partners Fleet Feet Pittsburgh, Nuun Hydration, Honey Stinger, PEC and Sheetz;
- The Post-Race Party presented by Brooks Running at Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh, with complimentary beer, pierogies and pretzels;
- A white pine tree sapling from event partner PEC; and
- A substantial race medal commemorating their accomplishments.
Click here to view photo highlights and visit www.gaptrailrelay.org for more information about the GAP Relay. Proceeds from the race benefit the Allegheny Trail Alliance and will help with ongoing maintenance and promotion of the Great Allegheny Passage.
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P3R is the engine behind Pittsburgh’s greatest races. We strive to inspire any and all to run with us. Best known for organizing the acclaimed annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, P3R runs a variety of other high-quality races, events, and health and fitness programs throughout the Pittsburgh region. While many of our races attract some of the nation’s highest-profile professional athletes, we offer activities for all ages and ability levels. Anyone and everyone is invited to #RUNwithP3R! Read more at: P3R.org
About the Allegheny Trail Alliance (ATA)
Founded in 1995, ATA is a coalition of seven trail organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania and western Maryland that is charged with promoting and enhancing the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile multiple use rail-trail system between Cumberland, MD and Pittsburgh, PA and the 52-mile Montour Trail, to provide a connection to the Pittsburgh International Airport. Completed in 2013, The Passage is now connected to the 184.5 mile C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland and provides a non-motorized, nearly level trail system between Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA. For more information on the Great Allegheny Passage and the Allegheny Trail Alliance, visit www.GAPtrail.org.