PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — At the sound of the starter’s pistol Sunday morning, a cast of tens of thousands took off on a 26-mile trek from Downtown Pittsburgh through a number of scenic city neighborhoods.

Around the same time, the annual marathon party was starting at Tim Zinn’s home on Western Avenue on the North Side.

“I’m right on the race course; it’s just a neighborhood event,” said Zinn. “I invited the entire neighborhood.”

The cheers started as the first wheelchair racer arrived at the six-mile mark. Spectators lined the streets giving runners a warm North Side welcome.

“I couldn’t bring home the bacon by running, so I brought it here to the brunch to greet all these fast runners coming through,” said Debra Kelly, a North Side resident.

More than 25,000 runners would eventually pass through Western Avenue; many responding with high fives to the words of support while heading toward the West End Bridge.

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Speaking of signs, Tom Cola watched thousands of runners pass by. He waited patiently for his wife who was running in the half marathon.

Finally, Maryann Cola ran by and saw her husband’s sign.

“I’m happy. I’m proud of my wife, she’s a sweetheart,” said Cola.

Runners heard words of support and encouragement in every neighborhood, but there were also dozens of volunteers providing them with a valuable service.

The water station on North Highland Avenue was almost at the 20-mile mark, only six more miles to the finish line of the annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.

“I think it’s good for the city, it’s good for the neighborhoods and it’s one of the premier marathons in the country, and it’s getting better,” Cola added.

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