“Even Educated Fleas Do It!”

By Anthony Kovatch, M.D. — Pediatric Alliance — Arcadia


Musical Accompaniment:  “Let’s Do It” by Cole Porter


“The birds do it, the bees do it,

Even educated fleas do it!

Let’s do it, let’s run the race!”


With apology and indebtedness to legendary songwriter Cole Porter, please enjoy a vicarious race through the Northside and Golden Triangle with the adventurous “Kids of Steel” on the Saturday before the 2018 Pittsburgh Marathon. Whatever their age or species, all achieved a higher level of fitness. It was real!


“The cops do it, the cooks do it,

Even masters who write books do it!

Let’s do it, let’s run the race!”


Ten-year-old child-author, Hunter Korman, displays his epic novel “The Race;” his publication was an inspiration to the PediaBlog photographer who covered the event.

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“The moms do it, the dads do it,

Even toddlers who are ‘rad’ do it,

Let’s do it, let’s run that race!”


Seven-year-old Devanie and her baby sister Brinley bask in the glory of victory at the post-race celebration in front of the fountain at Point State Park. Next year Brinley will be eligible for the Toddler Trot for kids 2-4 years old. Rumor has it that Brinley will be highly seeded — all in the family are avid runners!

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“Hyperactive He’s do it, sweet She’s do it,

Even pierogies full of cheese do it!

Let’s do it, let’s keep the pace!”


Jalapeña Hannah ruled the starting line in front of PNC Park; she took upon herself many responsibilities, including (but not limited to) leading her young charges in warm-up exercises, patrolling for untied shoe laces, and clearing the race course of annoying photographers with nasty swings of her purse! The other pierogies tried to keep her temper at bay while she “laundered” the course for all 15 waves of runners from schools throughout Western Pennsylvania — a total of 10,300 athletes of all ages.

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“The keys do it, the locks do it,

Even daughters of our Docs do it!

Let’s do it, let’s crush the race!”


After finishing the race, many of the more photogenic participants posed on the Roberto Clemente Bridge brandishing their medals against the backdrop of the “locks of love.” The project aims to duplicate the message of the Pont des Arts — the footbridge crossing the Seine River in the heart of Paris: post your “lock of love,” fling the key into the river, and hope for a lifetime of mutual love (see “The Busker Under the Bridge” from July, 31, 2014). The happy and beautiful girls of Northland Division pediatrician Chris Dudro and his wonderful wife Anne pose for all denizens of the “City of Bridges” to admire.

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“Citizens of Spain do it, and Calgary do it,

Even kids from gay Pari do it!

Let’ do it, let’s show our face!”


The bridge was a popular venue for cousins and sibs to discard all rivalry and let their medallions brightly reflect the rays of the high noon sun. Overlooking the Allegheny River, siblings Isabella and William flank their favorite cousin, Bradley, and celebrate as if they were in Paris — the “City of Lights”/“City of Love” — atop the Eiffel Tower

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“The brave do it, the shy do it,

Even kids who never cry do it!

Let’s do it, pump up the race!”


Naddison and Nolan Hutton radiate pride for their accomplishment with mother Gina. Nolan has recovered from life-threatening kidney disease, and, because of his courage and gregarious personality, has become a spokesman for children with chronic diseases. He speaks at fundraisers in the community; Nolan is already an extraordinary boy politician and the life of every party. I consider him the mascot of the Arcadia Division

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“The birds do it, the fish do it,

Even cows from St. Moritz do it!

Let’s do it, let’s not disgrace!”


Humans were not the only species participating in the marathon. This notorious mascot of Chick-fil-A not only hoofed the race but provided parents with joint photos of the runners along the 1.1 mile course of the race. In my day, they called her “Elsie.

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“Persian cats do it, fleas in gowns do it,

Even rich blue-blooded hounds do it!

Let’s do it, you’ll need no mace!”


The morning concluded with a “Pet Walk” through Point State Park — starting and finishing lines and all. Garbed in personalized running attire and embellished with accessories like umbrellas and pooper scoopers, over 100 canines strode the course encircling the fountain. Steelers’ wide-receiver Juju Smith Schuster launched the race with his pet pug in tow. The sportsmanship was outstanding — rarely a bark or a brawl.

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“The elite do it, the lice do it,

People in the prime of life do it!

Let’s do it, let’s run the race!”


They say that once you embrace the “loneliness of the long distance run,” you can never stop. Running becomes a lifelong addiction, and those with whom you share the race are your friends until your last breath.

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When you grow old and run a race, especially a marathon, you solemnly swear to heaven and earth that you will never run another. Somehow, within a few days, you manage to sign yourself up for the next race that will dole out an equal amount of physical and mental punishment. We are well aware of the suffering and the risk, and yet we still do it!


“Let’s do it, let’s fall in love!”


PS:  The next time I pose as a photojournalist, I will request a “press pass” on behalf of The PediaBlog.