PHOTO ABOVE: A rider gets a little help from a crowd of onlookers as he struggles to make it up Canton Avenue in Beechview during the Dirty Dozen bike ride on Nov. 30, 2013. Canton Avenue, often described as the steepest street in the world, is part of the route for the new Hell on Hills 5K footrace.
A new footrace will put contenders to the test — and the slopes.
Set for Oct. 15 in Beechview, Hell on Hills bills itself as the "world's steepest 5K." The route starts at Canton Avenue, which, at a grade of 37 percent, is often described as the world's steepest street. Throw in other slanted corridors, including an approximately ¼ mile trek up Bousted Street, with a grade of 29 percent, and you've got yourself a challenge.
Hell on Hills also will run through Beechview's business district on Broadway Avenue.
"This is great opportunity to show a wider audience something we've always known: Beechview is a great community," city Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, whose district includes the hilly community, said in a statement.
The race is being organized by a group of Beechview residents who want to show off the neighborhood, race founder and director Bethany Ruhe said in the statement.
Canton Avenue's hilly topography is well-known.
The annual Dirty Dozen bike ride, which was founded in 1983, includes Canton and the other 12 steepest hills in Pittsburgh. Many a bicyclist has been unseated in a crash on the slippery cobblestone road.
Still, Hell on Hills can be conquered, Ruhe said.
"We designed the course to be incredibly challenging, but doable," she said.
There will be a community afterparty past the finish line, at Vanucci Field.
For more information, visit hellonhills.com.