Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Unveils New Course Design
Record-breaking year solidifies marathon's status as a premier road race
Posted Thursday, 2 February, 2012
From Ryan Lamppa, Running USA
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - (January 26, 2012) - Amid record-breaking registration numbers, the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
has announced a newly designed course and finish line that 20,000-plus runners will traverse on the May 6, 2012 race.
This year's race will represent the largest combined field of runners in the history of the race event, which includes the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay, UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run and Toyota of Pittsburgh Kids Marathon.
Since the rebirth of the race, registration numbers have steadily grown and have doubled since 2009. Total registration to-date is at 85% capacity, a 20% increase over where registration stood at this time last year.
"Our growth is a testament to our sponsors, spectacular course, community involvement and support from the City," stated Race Director Patrice Matamoros. "Each year we continue to build upon the last and are not only seeing increased interest from runners, but also from sponsors and community involvement. The Marathon has helped the City of Pittsburgh gain recognition as a first class venue for runners, as well as being a key factor in development for the city and a valued contributor to local charities."
A redesigned course and new finish line are the first of several changes set for the 2012 Marathon. Runner's will also have the opportunity to take advantage of an increased prize purse and a brand new cross training program designed to enhance training and injury prevention.
The new course will showcase the City of Pittsburgh and will maximize the runner experience and cater to the larger field of runners. The redesign will allow for a first-class finish line that will adequately house world-class medical facilities, spectators and the popular finish line festival.
- The start of the race will remain Downtown on Liberty Avenue.
- All Runners will then cross five bridges 16th Street, 9th Street, 7th Street, West End and Birmingham bridges.
- The UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon course will now continue across the Birmingham Bridge and exit left to Forbes Avenue. Ultimately, the course will end to a downhill finish on the Boulevard of the Allies.
- The Dick's Sporting Goods Marathon course will follow the outbound route through Oakland, Shadyside, Point Breeze and Bloomfield as in previous years.
- Marathon runners will return via Liberty Avenue, Smithfield Street and then onto the Boulevard of the Allies.
Growth of Race Fuels Increased Sponsorships and Community Involvement
Launched in 2011, the UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run opens the weekend's events to a greater range of participants, including first-time racers, and the friends and family of marathoners and half-marathoners.
Back by popular demand this year will be the Toyota of Pittsburgh Kids Marathon and the Kids of STEEL program presented by Giant Eagle. The program continues to gain popularity with 30 schools participating from over 14 different schools districts in the Kids of STEEL program, which promotes fitness and nutrition.
Both the UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run and Toyota of Pittsburgh Kids Marathon also will see course changes that will be announced at a later date.
As part of its growth plan, the Marathon is also opening up new sponsorship opportunities, including the chance to energize fans by being the face of the race's growing entertainment and community festivals that include the Music by the Mile and Cheerathoners program.
"The Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon has become a valuable event to the Pittsburgh community in many ways, by highlighting the great assets of our community, raising money for charities and promoting the City on a national level," stated Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
The Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is a non-profit organization that promotes the love of long-distance running and enhances community involvement in fitness activities through high quality events for a wide variety of ages and abilities.
Visit www.pittsburghmarathon.com for more information.