The Pittsburgh Marathon: Not Just for Runners
Credit: Joel Hawksley, P3R Photography
By Kelsey Jackson
More than 40,000 runners will take to the streets of Pittsburgh for the 2016 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events, April 29 – May 1. The 8th annual event is much more than a race but a community-wide festival that celebrates health, fitness and fun. From two-year Toddle Trotters to 86-year-old Half Marathoners, runners of all age will challenge themselves to achieve their personal best during race weekend.
But what if you’re not running this year? There are still so many fun ways you can experience the Pittsburgh Marathon without having to run 26.2 miles.
- Volunteer – Volunteers are the backbone of race weekend and more than 4,000 volunteers lend their time to help make it a success. From handing out water at fluid stations, distributing shirts at the Expo or giving medals to runners at the finish line, you can find a volunteer position perfect for you during race weekend. To see what positions are available and to sign up, visit www.thePittsburghMarathon.com/volunteering.
- Rock the Run – Each year, more than 60 bands and musicians line the streets of Pittsburgh to keep runners moving and grooving. Pittsburgh’s best acts showcase their talent to tens of thousands of runners on race day and help runners ROCK their way to the finish line.
- Recruit your group and cheer LOUD – The Runners of Steel want to hear your group’s cheers and enthusiasm on race day! Charitable organizations, church choirs, sports teams or even entire elementary schools are all welcome to be a part of one of the largest events in Pittsburgh – groups can even win prizes for being the loudest and proudest cheerathoners!
Photo Credit: Chuck LeClaire, P3R PhotographyWrite a really clever sign – Whether it be motivational, funny or a shout out to your best friend, creative signs motivate runners to push forward when they are hitting the wall and need a little extra support.
- Register your pup for the Pittsburgh Pet Walk – Bring your favorite furry friend to the Pittsburgh Pet Walk in Point State Park during Saturday’s family friendly events. Attendees and their pets could win awards for cutest pet, pet/owner look-a-like and best costume.
- Visit the GNC Live Well Pittsburgh Health and Fitness Expo – More than 100 vendors will be on hand, bringing Pittsburgh the latest fitness products, nutritional supplements and workout gear at the GNC Live Well Pittsburgh Health and Fitness Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Shop for shoes, socks, technical clothing and running accessories at the official DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon race weekend store. You can also get free samples and giveaways, as well as autographs and advice from some of the biggest names in running.
- Run the UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run – It’s not too late to start a 5K training plan and run the UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run. Everyone who participates in the 3.1 mile race will receive a shirt and medal and the opportunity to cross the same finish line as Sunday’s marathoners.
- Check out the Bike Spectator Course – Want to cheer runners at multiple locations along the course? Check out the Bike Spectator Course, which guides spectators around the course with multiple stops to see marathoners as they make their way to the finish line.
- Support charity runners – Each year, charity runners raise more than $1.5 million for local and national charities. Check out this year’s participants who are making a difference at www.crowdrise.com/PittsburghMarathon2016 and consider making a donation to their cause.
- Show off your Pittsburgh spirit – Crowd support was a big reason why the Pittsburgh Marathon was ranked the #8 marathon in the world by Active Times in 2014. Race weekend attracts runners from all 50 states and more than 20 countries. Show these out-of-towners the spirit of Pittsburgh!
Credit: Pete Madia, P3R Photography
Whether you are running, volunteering or cheering really loud, we hope to see you on race day!
For more information about the 2016 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events, visit www.thePittsburghMarathon.com.