By Hannah Walden, Point Park News Service
The sixth annual Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6k Run and Family Walk took place on Oct. 14 starting outside of PPG Paints Arena at the People’s Gate.
The walk paid tribute to Mario Lemieux, a former Pittsburgh Penguin who wore the number 66. Proceeds from the event went to the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the inception of the Mario Lemieux Foundation, as well as how long Lemieux has been cancer free since his diagnosis with Hodgkin lymphoma in 1993.
Since 1998, over $25 million have been donated for cancer research and patient care in the Pittsburgh area and across the country, according to Lemieux’s Foundation website.
For participants, the running route stretched from Fifth Ave.; Smithfield St. and its bridge; East Carson St.; the 10th Street Bridge; to Centre Ave., finishing outside of the Trib Total Media Gate of PPG Paints.
The walking route was very similar, but only after crossing the Smithfield Street Bridge, participants retrace their steps until finishing on at the same place.
It took roughly two hours for volunteers to set up for the event, according to Lisa Cully and Tracy Young, two first time volunteers. They helped set up blockades, the inflatable start and finish lines and separated participants into groups based on estimated pace and whether participants were running, walking or handcycling.
The awards ceremony took place at 9:15 a.m., where the top three finishers earned cash prizes. Jim Spisak won overall with a time of 19 minutes and 30 seconds, followed by Juris Silenieks with 20 minutes and 26 seconds and then, William Moore with 23 minutes and 50 seconds came in third.