By Bryant Reed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It’s back and it’s like it never left.

Thousands of runners took to the streets of Pittsburgh on Sunday morning for the annual Great Race.

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The Great Race returned to an in-person event after a virtual race in 2020.

As runners heads to the starting line, it was a feeling unlike any other.

“It was perfect weather for it, cool but just warm enough to keep you going,” said James Hill.

“Nothing beats it,” said Brian Katze, the Director of The Great Race. “In a typical year when we have our full complement of people, it’s really a sight to see.”

In its 44th year, The Pittsburgh Great Race was back in the streets after going virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, parts of the race were modified in order to follow precautions that were advised by doctors.

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“Instead of having one mass start at 9:30 a.m. like we traditionally do, we’re doing a rolling start this year,” Katze said. “From 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., you can show up at any time within that window to start your race.”

There was also no post-race gathering as there has been in years past.

Still, runners said even before the exhilaration of race day, just getting back into training mode was exciting and motivating.

“The race is part of my motivation to workout and do self-care, but not having it last year, I was disappointed,” said Lo Ruchama.

The 10K is a tradition for many and after putting feet to the pavement and crossing the finish line, runners said it felt good to be back.

Another safety precaution in place was requiring masks for everybody when they were not running.

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Race organizers said they wanted to do everything to make it safe for everyone and so The Great Race can return again in 2022.