Late-bloomer running coach leaves no runner — and no funds — behind

Audrey Burgoon’s come-to-Jesus moment came at mile 18. It was her first marathon, in San Diego in 2006, and her training partner of four months had just hit the wall. Seeing him falter, she burst into tears. She did not know how to run by herself. Her coach asking why she was crying only made her […]

View More

A different kind of runner’s high

As he lines up for Monday’s Boston Marathon, John Platt will feel the same jitters as every runner, plus a few of his own. Did I train hard enough? Will I make it up Heartbreak Hill? At what mile will I go blind? The Moon resident’s feet always are numb. It will feel like he’s […]

View More

Chronic bowel disease doesn’t deter Pittsburgh runner

A love of running did not come naturally to Lauren Moran. If anything, the Baldwin native considered moving her legs forward in anything faster than a slow crawl as punishment — and she was on both the soccer and track teams in high school. “I hated to run,” says Ms. Moran, 34, of Bloomfield. “For […]

View More

After family members’ suicides, woman heals her emotional wounds through running

For months after her older brother Allan’s suicide in November 2002, Amy Jacobson was numb. It was as if the Maryland college student had fallen into a big black hole of nothingness where the only emotion that churned inside her body, after the initial shock wore off, was total detachment. Allan had been the brainy […]

View More

Female runners self-defense: Stay aware

It was a beautiful, sunny day when Leah Yingling set out on June 15, 2010, for what she thought was going to be a routine three-miler on one of Johnstown’s most popular running trails. If only. As she recounted at Pittsburgh Marathon’s inaugural Safe Strides self-defense course for female runners at Bakery Square on Feb. […]

View More

Soldier’s Story: A year in Afghanistan changes Lt. Col Chris Cieslak, and her family

This is the last in a series on Lt. Col. Chris Cieslak’s deployment to Afghanistan:   A bunch of red, white and blue balloons danced at the front door when Lt. Col. Chris Cieslak came home earlier this month after a year in Afghanistan. But the rest of her homecoming didn’t exactly go as expected. […]

View More

Ohio hardware store owner hammers out prosperous life

KIDRON, Ohio — To the scores of tourists who travel to the sprawling but somehow-still-charming hardware store that put this tiny farming community on the map a half-century ago, Jay Lehman is a local version of Bill Gates, an astute businessman who grew a tiny niche market into a global enterprise. The rural store that […]

View More

Lily Dale can be a spooky place

LILY DALE, N.Y. — I like a good ghost story as much as the next gal, especially this time of year, when even the staunchest disbelievers hope to hear something go bump in the night. But communicating with the dead through a medium? Now there’s a scary thought. Still, here I am in this tiny […]

View More

Ben Avon family turns home over to film crew; Proves to be insane yet exhilarating

A movie production crew set up shop inside the Ben Avon home of PG reporter Gretchen McKay (center) for the filming of “Riddle,” As someone who writes about homes, I’m usually the one knocking on front doors, trying to sweet-talk homeowners into letting me tell the world about the architectural delights beyond the threshold. Sometimes […]

View More

Adventure just around the bend on overnight kayak-canoe trip

BELLTOWN, Pa. — Every paddler has her moment when the only thing on her mind is placing her water shoes on dry land. For me, it came about five hours into the overnight kayaking trip my husband and I took a few weeks ago on the Clarion River. We’d slid our boats into the water […]

View More

Meet the ‘Blonde Elvis’ of Mount Oliver: Tribute artists are alive and well

Dan Casne makes his living redesigning and rewinding electromagnets used on overhead cranes in steel mills. It’s a technical job, and not a bad-paying one. But his true calling just might be singing. He discovered this when he was well into his 50s. Watching karaoke one night at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in […]

View More

Mall tattoo studio finds acceptance

Getting a little ink etched into the dermis layer of the skin has become so mainstream that Pittsburghers can now get a tattoo at one of the most homogenized of American venues: the mall. Two months ago, Get Inked … In the Flesh, a 1,500-square-foot tattoo and body piercing studio, opened its doors a few […]

View More