Run This Town: Pittsburgh Running Tours

Trisa Yerks leads guided tours through various Pittsburgh neighborhoods and attractions.

By: Kayla Keddal |

It isn’t hard to smile and jog at the same time. A happy crew of runners breathe in the city skyline as they follow their tour guide Trista Yerks, owner of Pittsburgh Running Tours. Trista, who moved here from Minneapolis, describes herself as a “Pittsburgher by choice.” She immediately fell in love with the city, and wanted to find a way to share her passion with others. An avid runner for 5 years, Trista knew of 5k running tours in Minneapolis, but learned there was nothing of the sort in Pittsburgh. So, Trista started Pittsburgh Running Tours, an active way to explore the city at a comfortable jogging pace.

Perhaps a reason why Trista is so good at what she does is because she embraces the spirit and energy of the Pittsburgh scene. “I’m glad I ended up here,” says Trista, “I have always wanted to be a tour guide.” She has a fresh perspective on what is going on, and an excitement for the treasures of the city that natives might take for granted. Many of the 5k tour participants are in fact from Pittsburgh, and often admit to learning something new about their hometown.  Do you know the true functional purpose of that sculpture atop the Carnegie Science Center? Have you ever stood under the belly of a 24-foot dinosaur? Do you know where Mr. Rodgers has been hiding?

Current 5k tour locations are the North Shore, the Strip District, Oakland, and Lawrenceville upon request. Soon to be added to the list are Downtown, Frick Park, South Side, and the Waterfront. The running tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays during the warm months, and Saturdays in the winter. Each tour begins in the morning, usually between 8am and 9am. Trista provides tours just about every weekend, only taking a few days off to run some more competitive 5ks on her own.

Pittsburgh Running Tours are not races; there is no clock and no bib. Everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of age or experience. The tour will not leave anyone behind; runners are free to move at any pace that is comfortable for them. “This is a good start for a lot of beginners who don’t want to do a real 5k race yet,” says Trista. The tour is a workout for sure, but far from intimidating, especially when there is support from the running group and the people of Pittsburgh. “It is a very friendly city,” says Trista. “People wave, honk and cheer me on when I’m running.”

Tours are intended to be engaging and enjoyable.  Many participants stop for impromptu photo shoots at famous landmarks and backdrops. There are even runners who have taken on the challenge of completing every tour route. Parents and children, couples, friends, athletes, students, and out-of-towners all come together to enjoy some exercise, good company and our lovely city. Pittsburgh Running Tours are most certainly a great option for anyone looking to be an active Pittsburgher.

To learn more about Pittsburgh Running Tours, visit