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BackgroundEdit

  • The Pittsburgh Marathon will return in 2009 after a six-year hiatus.
  • May 3, 2009

InsightsEdit

Pittsburgh Marathon to return in 2009Edit

The 26.2-mile race will be run on May 3 and will be sponsored by Dick's Sporting Goods Inc., the Findlay Township-based sporting goods retailer (NYSE:DKS).

It will be the 20th running of the race, which began in 1985.

"For 19 years, the Pittsburgh Marathon brought international recognition, increased health awareness, and substantial economic benefits to Southwestern Pennsylvania," Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said in a statement in May 2008.

Dick's financial commitment to the race was not disclosed.

The race course is still being finalized, officials said, but they believe it will start on Grant Street in front of the City County Building and finish in Point State Park, which is being renovated. The rest of the course will run through neighborhoods including the North and South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, Point Breeze, Homewood, East Liberty, Bloomfield, Highland Park and the Strip District.

There will also be a half marathon race, sponsored by medical device maker Respironics Inc.

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History The City of Pittsburgh Marathon, a fleeting memory.Edit

In 2004, the marathon was killed. It is dead.

Would-a Not in 2005.Edit

The marathon would have been a great place for supporters to hand out literature, hold up yard signs and mingle with voters.

Shovel-logo3Edit

Opposition Marathon runner halted on one's own agenda. Edit

  • Akron has two marathons. Pittsburgh has a mayor who is a marathon runner and he can't even run the race in his own town.

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DetailsEdit

Pittsburgh Marathon won't be run in 2007 nor 2008 [2] Edit

By Mike Cronin, TRIBUNE-REVIEW, September 13, 2007

Organizers of the Pittsburgh Marathon have postponed the race's revival to 2009.

Two local runners and county and city officials had hoped to end the run's five-year hiatus by firing the starting gun on May 4.

"To have a successful marathon takes serious planning, the time to make the right decisions to put the city's best foot forward -- no pun intended," said Larry Kuzmanko, who directed the marathon for about five years before taking a seat on the marathon's board. "Between now and May is not enough time to present the quality event that the people of Pittsburgh deserve."

Area residents Michele Fetting and Dr. Jennifer Rudin have collaborated with Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl on the race.

"This will give us much more time to do it the right way and make it first class," said Kevin Evanto, Onorato's spokesman.

County officials would have liked to add the marathon to a list of other special events that will occur in 2008 to celebrate the region's 250th anniversary. Those will include the Tour of Pennsylvania cycling race and a visit by the USA women's softball team on its way to the Beijing Olympics.

"It would've been great to have it back next year, but it just made more sense to push it back to 2009," Evanto said.

Kuzmanko said setting up the event by May became too difficult, though organizers are "getting things to the point where the Pittsburgh Marathon's return is probable."

The first Pittsburgh Marathon took place in 1985, attracting about 2,500 runners, Kuzmanko said. At its height, more than 6,000 people from 46 states entered, he said.

If the marathon takes place in 2009, Kuzmanko expects some big names to be associated with it. Among them: Bill Rodgers, who won the Boston and New York marathons four times each; 1984 Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson; and former New York Marathon director Allan Steinfeld.

Race officials have spoken with each of them, and they've offered their help.

Mike Cronin can be reached at mcronin@tribweb.com or 412-320-7884. Back to headlines

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