Reasons to Run the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon

Q&A With the Race Director of the Pittsburgh Marathon

What's unique about the course?

It's really fun. Pittsburgh is built of immigrant communities and each community seems to have flair and a style all to its own.

Runners will also cross five bridges. They cross the 16th Street Bridge, 9th Street Bridge, the 7th Street Bridge, the West End Bridge and the Birmingham Bridge.

What's the most challenging part of the course?

The most challenging part of the course would be the hill on the Birmingham Bridge that takes the runners into the neighborhood of Oakland. That's the greatest elevation people will climb. Once they reach the top the course kind of plateaus and finishes downhill for six miles—but it is a gradual downhill finish.

More: 2 Tips to Make the Last 10K of a Marathon Your Best

What does this race offer for runners?

If you're a new runner, we offer pace teams so that you can run at the pace you're used to training at. We offer a very extensive number of pacers. We have about 22 to 26 pacers, one for the full and one for the half marathon.

In terms of getting around town and getting things done, if you're coming from out of town and you're staying downtown, you don't even need a car. You can walk. The expo is downtown, the start is downtown, the finish is downtown and the finish line festival is downtown. Everything is really convenient and easy to get to. 

We also offer a ton of support on the course. We have water and Gatorade every 1.8 miles. We also offer PowerBar and GU.

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What are the post-race goodies and festivities?

We're changing it a little bit this year. There's food, water, bands and gear check. We also have a charity village that's comprised of our charities that are listed on our website. We'll also have a Dick's interactive booth, and you can take a picture at the finish-line festival and put it on Facebook right there. We'll have finisher gear at the finish-line festival, and there will also be a corporate tent and VIP tent.

Post -race, runners can expect course medals, water, Gatorade, pretzels, smiley-face cookies from Eat'n Park, bagels from Panera Bread, and more. A lot of our runners always say they love the little smiley-face cookie. 

We'll definitely have a really fun finish-line festival, and really celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

More: Race-Weekend Preparation for Runners

Why should people make a trip out to the Steel City?

This is the only place in the United States that you can actually be a runner of steel. You can go to the IRONMAN and become an Ironman, but here is the only place that has runners of steel. You're running Steel Town, the number one sports town in the U.S. We really pride ourselves on great community, a very well-organized run?and we want to deliver, and will deliver a phenomenal race experience.

What's the Run for a Reason charity program?

We have over 50 charities this year that are our partnered and preferred charities. If somebody wants to run for charity, through one of our preferred charities on our homepage, then they'll raise an amount of money. There are a ton of ways to play into the marathon to raise money for your charity or cause.

More: 7 Race-Day Tips for Your First Marathon

What else would you like to add?

I want to welcome new runners and experienced runners and even in between runners to Pittsburgh. I think they will have a phenomenal experience with us, and will fall in love with a city that they probably didn't even really think about before. I hope they discover the rich history of a great city.


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About the Author

Beth Roessner

Beth Roessner is the editorial assistant for She believes in cooking with fresh, whole ingredients, the cleansing power of a long run and that anyone has the power to change their life for the better.
Beth Roessner is the editorial assistant for She believes in cooking with fresh, whole ingredients, the cleansing power of a long run and that anyone has the power to change their life for the better.

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