Sprint the Country’s Steepest Street at this Pittsburgh 5K

Hills? In Pittsburgh? Whaaa? We get it, you already know. But chances are that if you’re reading this you’re heard of the epic Dirty Dozen. If not, a quick primer: For the past 30-plus years, cyclists have tackled 13 of Pittsburgh’s toughest hills in a bike race like no other.

One of the many reasons it’s so challenging is the insanely steep hill on Canton Avenue. And now, even if biking isn’t your thing, you can tackle it yourself at the Hell on Hills 5K.

Pedal to the metal.

Despite being super fit, many of the cyclists struggling it up the Canton Avenue hill at the Dirty Dozen have to get off their bikes and walk up it. And it’s not because they didn’t train hard enough. It’s because that with a 37% grade, the Canton Avenue hill is the steepest public street in the U.S.! But if you live in Beechview, you already know the struggle (the scariest drive ice luge in the wintertime.)

And if not for an error in the Guinness Book of Worlds Records, it would be listed as the steepest street anywhere on Earth. Don’t worry – your jaw isn’t the only one on the floor.

Runners at the Hell on Hills 5K will first huff and puff their way up Canton in Beechview. And then they’ll do battle with three more of the biggest, baddest hills Pittsburgh has to offer, including the one on Bousted Street, which has a super steep 29% grade. So don’t let the distance (3.1 miles) fool you, the Hell on Hills 5K will test even the fittest runners.

It’s safe to say this race is not for runners who hate hills. But it’s perfect for anyone looking for a challenge they’ll never forget. The bragging rights you’ll earn when you cross the finish line make tackling this crazy race more than worth it. Once you catch your breath, that is.

Michael Sorg

Sorgatron Media, Pittsburgh, PA, USA