By Rachel Jones + Olivia Kappler | Photographs from Jason Cohn, Matt Freed, Chuck LeClaire, Pete Madia
Hearts across the City of Pittsburgh will be beating a little faster May 5-7. Some will be the hearts of runners, who will be putting their months of physical and mental prep to the test during everything from the UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run to the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. Some will be the hearts of excited friends and family members, who will line the course to cheer on their loved ones and people they’ve never met before. And some will be the hearts of those filled with joy and gratitude for the benevolent Run for a Reason Charity Program, presented by Bank of America, which reaches a major milestone this year. These hearts will all beat as one when we unite for one of the most thrilling weekends of the year. Let us be your guide to it all!
Best of luck to every runner!
Schedule of Events
Friday, May 5
• 1 a.m.-8 p.m. — GNC Live Well Pittsburgh Health and Fitness Expo @ David L. Lawrence Convention Center *The Expo opens at 10 a.m. for VIP participants
Saturday, May 6
• 8 a.m. Start — UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run @ West General Robinson Street and Mazeroski Way
• 8:30 a.m. Start — Sheetz Pittsburgh Toddler Trot @ Point State Park
• 9 a.m.-1 p.m. — Eat’n Park Finish Line Festival @ Point State Park
• 9 a.m.-6 p.m. — GNC Live Well Pittsburgh Health and Fitness Expo @ David L. Lawrence Convention Center
• 9:30 a.m. Start — Toyota Pittsburgh Kids Marathon @ West General Robinson Street, by PNC Park
• 12 p.m. Start — Rachael Ray Nutrish Pittsburgh Pet Walk @ Point State Park
Sunday, May 7
• 6:50 a.m. Start — DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Hand-Cycle Division, Presented by PNC @ Liberty Avenue, near 10th Street
• 7:05 a.m. Start — DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay @ Liberty Avenue, near 10th Street
• 7 a.m.-2 p.m. — Finish Line Festival @ Point State Park
+ Local churches are welcoming runners and supporters to participant in special masses during race weekend:
Saturday, May 6
4 p.m. • Mass with Blessing of the Runners at Saint Mary of Mercy Roman Catholic Church
Sunday, May 7
5 a.m. • Mass for Runners at Saint Mary of Mercy Roman Catholic Church
6 a.m. • Blessing of the Runners at First Presbyterian Church
8 a.m. • The Holy Eucharist at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
8:30 a.m. • Holy Communion at First Lutheran Church
9 a.m. • Mass at Saint Mary of Mercy Roman Catholic Church
10:30 a.m. • The Holy Eucharist at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral
10:45 a.m. • Worship Service at First Presbyterian Church
11 a.m. • Worship Service at Smithfield United Church of Christ
11 a.m. • Holy Communion at First Lutheran Church
12 p.m. • Mass at Saint Mary of Mercy Roman Catholic Church
5 p.m. • Holy Communion at First Lutheran Church
See any runners sporting some extra hardware after the race? They’ve just completed the Steel Challenge! The third annual initiative invites runners who are participating in any race on May 7
(DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, or FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay) to run the UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run on May 6. For their extra efforts, they’ll take home an official shirt for each race, an official medal for each race, and a special medal for the Steel Challenge. Congrats!
Share sweet memories from race weekend and stay in touch with other runners with Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon (P3R)’s official social media outlets:
+ Don’t forget the official hashtags! #PghMarathon / #GameOnPGH
Rachael Ray Nutrish Pittsburgh Pet Walk
The Rachael Ray Nutrish Pittsburgh Pet Walk is one of the most entertaining — and definitely the furriest — race to be a part of! The May 6 event allows owners to bring their pets for a walk through the beautiful Point State Park. They can even participate in the Cutest Pet, Pet/Owner Look-A-Like, and Best Costume contests. Sponsor Rachael Ray Nutrish is giving away a year supply of food to the winner of each category!
Sheetz Pittsburgh Toddler Trot
Before the dogs have their day at the Rachael Ray Nutrish Pet Walk on May 6, our city’s littlest runners will be taking over Point State Park. Bring your tykes for some fun in the sun at the Sheetz Pittsburgh Toddler Trot, letting them get in on some of the action of race weekend and burn off some extra energy before nap time.
Toyota Pittsburgh Kids Marathon
he future marathon winners of tomorrow will start with the Toyota Pittsburgh Kids Marathon on May 6. With a one-mile course that goes through the North Shore, over the Roberto Clemente Bridge, and ends at the official finish line for the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, and FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay, this race will definitely wear your little ones out for the rest of the day!
Kids of STEEL
In an effort to instill healthy habits at an early age, the Kids of STEEL program offers age-appropriate physical activity and nutrition programs to help participants in the Toyota Pittsburgh Kids Marathon do their best on race day. This year, the program is training a group of middle school refugees, most of whom hail from Nepal, for the 5K as part of the South Hills Interfaith Movement. Be sure to give these champs an extra high five on race day! For more information, visit kidsofsteel.org.
UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run
This 3.1-mile race on May 6 allows runners to really enjoy the beauty of Pittsburgh as they pass through the North Shore. The view of the city from the Roberto Clemente Bridge is sure to give them that extra boost of motivation to pick up their speed on their way to the finish line Downtown!
PRIZES – P3R will award the top three men and women in the following age groups:
9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, and 80+
An Extra Boost
To help nurture the running careers of our city and beyond, P3R’s American Development Program offers complimentary entry, travel assistance, and prize money for American elite runners who are participating in the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 7. These opportunities are also available for runners of the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile on July 28 and the EQT 10 Miler in November 2017. For more information, call 412.586.7785.
FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay
By working together in teams of two to five, participants in the May 7 FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay will complete the 26.2-mile course. They’ll need an extra boost from the crowd at the exchange zones, so be sure to find a spot near one:
Exchange 1 • North Shore Drive (between Mazeroski Way and Tony Dorsett Drive)
Exchange 2 • Carson Street at Smithfield Street Bridge (near Station Square)
Exchange 3 • 5th Avenue and Beechwood Boulevard
Exchange 4 • Baum Boulevard (between South Aiken and Liberty Avenues)
Finish Line • Boulevard of the Allies (near Wood Street)
PRIZES – P3R will award the top three male, female, and coed relay teams.
At the 2016 FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay, The Wolf Pack finished first for male teams with a time of 2:31:22, Babes on Bridges finished first for female teams with a time of 3:12:05, and Supersmashgang finished first for coed teams with a time of 2:37:31.
UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon
The 13.1-mile course for the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon is a little different this year — but for good reasons! Still crossing all three rivers, the runners on May 7 will now be able to cruise by Heinz Field, PNC Park, and PPG Paints Arena. We know that seeing these stadiums will motivate runners to pick up the pace and join the ranks of the athletes who make up our City of Champions! And although the race still starts and ends in the same Downtown locations as it did in 2016, the new tweaks to the course will make for a flatter, faster run.
PRIZES – P3R will award the top three men and women in the following age groups:
1st Place — $6,500
2nd Place — $4,000
3rd Place — $3,000
4th Place — $2,000
5th Place — $1,000
6th Place — $500
7th Place — $250
U.S. Citizen (men, 1:10 or faster; women, 1:20 or faster)
1st Place — $3,000
2nd Place — $2,000
3rd Place — $1,000
4th Place — $750
5th Place — $500
Julius Kogo of Kenya won the 2016 UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon with a time of 1:03:13, and Etaferahu Temesgen of Ethiopia was the first female finisher with a time of 1:13:08.
DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
Crossing all three rivers, three bridges, and one incredible feat off their bucket lists, the 26.2-mile DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is the ultimate test of physical and mental strength. As a new treat this year, runners will also pass PNC Park and Heinz Field as they make their way through 13 neighborhoods to the Downtown finish line on May 7. To add to the excitement, the neighborhood festivals celebrating and cheering everyone on during race weekend will have a black and gold theme!
PRIZES – P3R will award the top male and female finishers:
1st Place — $8,000
2nd Place — $6,000
3rd Place — $4,000
4th Place — $2,500
5th Place — $1,500
6th Place — $1,000
7th Place — $500
1st Place — $1,000
2nd Place — $500
3rd Place — $250
U.S. Citizen (Men, 2:25 or faster; Women, 2:50 or faster)
1st Place — $4,500
2nd Place — $3,500
3rd Place — $2,500
4th Place — $1,500
5th Place — $1,000
1st Place — $1,000
Steel City Road Runner Member
1st Place — $500
Wheelchair Push Rim
1st Place — $1,000
2nd Place — $500
3rd Place — $250
Kipkoech Ruto of Kenya won the 2016 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon with a time of 2:17:27, and Hailemaryam Ayantu Dakebo of Ethiopia was the first female finisher with a time of 2:42:47.
City of Champions
With the new courses for the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, runners will now run by Heinz Field, PNC Park, and PPG Paints Arena. “Pittsburgh is a world class sports town, and for years, runners have asked to run past Pittsburgh stadiums,” says Patrice Matamoros, P3R CEO. “Pittsburgh sports fans can now run past their favorite stadiums. With thousands of spectators bringing their Pittsburgh spirit on race day, runners will feel like they are part of Pittsburgh’s ‘fourth sports team’ and be welcomed like champions.”
Every year, some race weekend participants go the extra mile to support their community by joining the Run for a Reason Charity Program, presented by Bank of America. These compassionate athletes pledge to raise funds while they raise their heart rates, using their race as an avenue to benefit a charity or organization that’s important to them.
But this year is a little more special. In 2017, charity runners are expected to raise more than $1.5 million, which pushes the total raised since the race returned to the city in 2009 over the $10 million mark! “We aren’t stopping at $10 million,” says Patrice Matamoros, P3R CEO. “This year, we’re calling on the charity and running community to keep the positive momentum going throughout the 2017 season. We are proud of what we have accomplished since 2009 and look forward to growing the program and continuing to reach new milestones.”
To coincide with the monumental occasion, P3R is also encouraging charity runners to share why they Run for a Reason with #PowerOfGiving. More than 2,800 charity runners are expected to join the 2017 Run for a Reason Charity Program to support 110 local and national charities.
Animal Rescue League/Western PA Humane Society, animalrescue.org
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, givetochildrens.org
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, cff.org
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society — TNT, teamintraining.org
Light of Life Rescue Mission, lightoflife.org
The ALS Association Western Pennsylvania Chapter, cure4als.org
American Heart Association, heart.org
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, pittsburghfoodbank.org
National MS Society, nationalmssociety.org
Our Clubhouse, ourclubhouse.org
Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh, komenpittsburgh.org
Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org
Autism Connection of Pennsylvania, autismofpa.org
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, crohnscolitisfoundation.org
Emily Whitehead Foundation, emilywhiteheadfoundation.org
Haiti H2O, haitih2o.org
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, lls.org
LIVING Ministry, livingministry.org
Organization for Autism Outreach, researchautism.org
Steel City Greyhounds, steelcitygreyhounds.org
Team PHenomenal Hope, teamphenomenalhope.org
Team RWB, teamrwb.org
The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, ymcaofpittsburgh.org
412 Food Rescue, 412foodrescue.org
Allegheny County Parks Foundation, acparksfoundation.org
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, carnegielibrary.org
Cody’s Crew Foundation, codys-crew.org
DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, sportsmatter.com
East End Cooperative Ministry, eecm.org
Hair Peace Charities, hairpeace.org
Joshua House, joshuahouse.com
Kids of STEEL, kidsofsteel.org
Miracle League of the South Hills, miracleleaguesouthhills.org
North Hills Community Outreach, nhco.org
Open Hand Ministries, openhandpgh.org
10 Ways $10 Makes a Difference
As the Run for a Reason Charity Program reaches the $10 million mark, we’re taking a look at how just $10 can impact the participating charities:
• Provides a meal, bus ticket, socks, and undergarments for a homeless individual through LIVING Ministry, Inc.
• Provides school supplies for a child with unemployed parents through North Hills Community Outreach
• Provides 50 meals through Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
• Provides one children’s book through Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
• Offers 30 minutes of phone counseling for parents of an autistic child through Autism Connection of Pennsylvania
• Provides a toy for Austin’s Playroom through Mario Lemieux Foundation
• Provides clothing for a child in need through Dirty Vagabond Ministries
• Contributes to neuroblastoma research grants submitted $100,000 at a time through Cody’s Crew Foundation
• Provides two veterans with community interaction through Team RWB
• Provides an ID tag, collar, and leash for an adopter of a greyhound through Steel
Charity Runner Spotlight: Janice Magee
Although she has participated in race weekend since 2010, Janice Magee will be running for a bigger reason this year. She and her friends are running the FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay under the name “Ladies for Landon,” raising money for her 1-year-old son, Landon, who has Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Landon is one of 30,000 U.S. citizens who are affected by the disease. Because of it, he must wear a vibrating vest twice a day to break up the mucus in his lungs; partake in a daily routine of nebulizers, inhalers, vitamins, salt, and antacids; and take 17 pills and 2 doses of liquid medication daily. Janice has hope in his recovery, which is rooted in the research made possible by raising funds for and awareness of CF. During the 2016 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, the Race to Cure CF raised $165,860 and with the support of Ladies for Landon and other charity runners, the group hopes to raise $200,000 this year! To give your support, visit crowdrise.com/runtocurecf2017/fundraiser/janicemagee.
More than 40 bands, 25 cheer groups, and thousands of fans will line the streets to support the swarm of runners that will take over the city during race weekend. In honor of the new and improved half and full marathon courses that now pass PNC Park, Heinz Field, and PPG Paints Arena, most of the neighborhood parties are adopting black and gold themes. Grab your signs and get ready to join the fun!
East Ohio Street (between Cedar Avenue and the Commons)
Cheer on the runners, Pittsburgh’s “fourth sports team,” among the legendary Heinz Field and PNC Park. Jerseys and Terrible Towels are encouraged as we salute the champions of race day! As the runners climb East Commons to Mile Marker 4, they’ll enter the official North Side Neighborhood Festival, complete with the music of KLOVE Radio. Plus, Urban Impact has partnered with the Allegheny Center Alliance Church and Grace Community Church from Cranberry Township to provide a festive tailgate with free breakfast from the grills. Everyone is welcome!
South Main Street (between Alexander and Sanctus)
Enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Pittsburgh skyline as you watch runners race along the Ohio River. Join The Education Partnerships’ cheer group, dressed in funny school supply costumes, as they greet runners at the base of the hill that leads onto Main Street. The Albert Gallatin JROTC cadets will be stationed at the bottom of the incline!
1100 East Carson Street
You may know the South Side as one of the biggest hotspots for Pittsburgh’s nightlife, but did you know it’s also one of the largest Victorian main streets in the U.S.? Be a part of the extended celebration, complete with live music and entertainment.
Home to Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carlow University, as well as some of the most premier medical institutions in the country, Oakland lends itself to yielding hope. Share that with the runners while you also enjoy free activities for the whole family, including PNC Carousel rides from 8 a.m.-12 p.m., face painting, sign-making parties, and live music.
Bellefonte and Walnut Streets
As runners do some speedy window shopping through Walnut Street’s unique mix of local and national retailers, you can cheer them on — with free pastries and coffee in hand, too!
Penn and South Dallas Avenues
Make a sign and noisemaker, then join the “black, gold, and loud” party at the Point Breeze Neighborhood Festival.
Frankstown Avenue (between Homewood and Lang Avenues)
While DJ Nick Nice plays, cheer on runners as they come through this vibrant and historical neighborhood. Stay fueled up for the task with free coffee, donuts, water, juice, hot dogs, and hamburgers.
Frankstown Avenue and East Liberty Boulevard
Even the youngest cheerathoners can get in on the fun with live music, costumes, and dress-up games at the race’s midpoint neighborhood party. + Register at eastlibertychamber.org/Pittsburgh-Marathon to win a free stay at a hotel in the heart of East Liberty!
North Highland Avenue and Bryant Street
We’re at Mile Marker 20! Enjoy race-day specials from local restaurants, live music by Hill Jordan & Slide Worldwide, and free donuts and fresh brewed coffee from Tazzo D’oro (while supplies last) to have enough energy to cheer the runners on through this neighborhood.
East Liberty Boulevard and North Negley Avenue
The neighborhood of Friendship lives up to its name with a warm, welcoming atmosphere, inviting parks and playgrounds, and super friendly neighbors! Each year, Friendship residents create the Friendship Inspiration Station to boost spirits and energy at Mile 21. Join in this year’s theme alongside neighbor-created street puppets, enthusiastic cheerathoners, and the ever-popular ice pops!
Liberty Avenue and Edmond Street
Pittsburgh’s “Little Italy” gets the party started with local pastries and cappuccino, while accordion players entertain runners.
Pittsburgh’s hidden gem and home of Duquesne University is new on the race route this year. Look for the black-and-gold-balloon-lined streets for the place to cheer runners on.
20th Street (Penn and Liberty Avenues)
Join the “Marathon Tailgate,” featuring coffee and biscotti from La Prima, nitro coffee from Allegheny Coffee and Tea, and several food trucks, during this final stretch of the race.
As the cultural capital of Western Pennsylvania, Downtown is where Pittsburghers go to see shows and sports, as well as eat, drink, and shop. And it’s where runners approach the finish line! Give them that final boost they need to get there.