Five years ago, the Pittsburgh Marathon was brought back to life. Today, it's one of the biggest race events in the United States, featuring a variety of race distances and attracting tens of thousands of spectators.
Since it's revival in 2009, the number of racers has quadrupled to more than 30,000 to become one of the fastest growing races in the country.
"The Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon has become an event that runners don't want to miss," says Patrice Matamoros, executive director of Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon. "As we continue to develop, we have added a weekend of events that include a race for everyone, including a Kids One-Mile Fun Run and a Pet Walk."
The Pittsburgh Marathon started in 1985 and continued until 2003, when the marathon was forced to shut down after losing its title sponsor.
"When we re-launched the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2009, running was undergoing a resurgence and a new community of runners was forming," Matamoros says. "Since then, our event has also grown to include more than 60 bands, 30 cheerathoner groups and 13 neighborhood festivals on the course."
As the event has grown, it's begun to attract more serious runners. The race is USATF-certified Boston qualifier, but just because it attracts veterans, that doesn't mean it's not a fun-filled race.
Post-race festivities include the Finish-Line Festival in Point State Park with live bands, vendors, refreshments and an award ceremony. Participants will receive a finisher's medal, long-sleeve Asics shirt and a goody bag.
But the fun isn't limited just to the finish line, runners start the race in downtown Pittsburgh and get a scenic tour of the city as they run through the communities and across three rivers, to the sounds of spectator support, high school cheer squads and live music.
Whether you're trying to set a new PR or you're running 26.2 for the first time, the Pittsburgh Marathon is a fantastic racing experience.
The 2014 Pittsburgh Marathon is on Sunday, May 4. If you're in the area or can make the trip, be sure to try this race, which is on par with popular events such as the LA Marathon and the Five Boro Bike Tour. Registration is open, and we encourage you to sign up before the race spots sell out.
If you can't make the trip to Steel City in May, here are some other popular races. Keep your race calendar updated as these events tend to sell out.