Run Around the Square, which had a modest beginning in 1982, has grown over the years to become one of Western Pennsylvania’s largest 5K races.
In the 1980s, the Regent Square community organized an end-of-summer event called “Regent Square Days.” Frick Park’s Fern Hollow was the site of this fun-filled day. Organizers thought a Fun Run would be a nice addition, and nine brave souls were willing to run that original course up Falls Ravine Trail to North Clayton Trail and back down Forbes Avenue to the Richmond Street park. Big things have small beginnings, and this competition was no exception. Run Around the Square was out of the starting blocks and well on its way.
The race quickly picked up speed, attracted hundreds of participants, and became a 5-mile race with 2-mile Fun Run/Walk for those wanting more fun than competition. The 5-mile race still had its registration site in Fern Hollow, but the course started on the corner of Lancaster and Hutchinson Avenues. The Race wound its way for 2.5 miles through the streets of Regent Square and proceeded through the trails of Frick Park towards the finish line still used today in Fern Hollow.
In 1998 the racecourse was shortened from 5 miles to 3.1 miles – a traditional 5K. The number of runners increased greatly, and the 2.5 miles through the narrow streets with numerous sharp turns no longer accommodated the large crowd. The new 5K course, which started on Milton Avenue and traversed Trevanion and Lancaster, was now able to accommodate the growing number of runners. The Run/Walk was also changed from 2 miles to 1.5 miles along a similar route. The biggest addition came with the entry of dogs. Friendly, leashed dogs were able to participate in the 1.5 Mile Run/Walk.
Run Around the Square is built on community spirit with a festive atmosphere, a musician-lined course, and the backing of the locally owned businesses in the Square and throughout Pittsburgh. The race has evolved into one of the largest 5K races in the region and an end-of-summer tradition for serious runners, novices, and families from Pittsburgh and across the country.
Contributed by Carol Cusick and Michele Megarry-Acord