Nearly 7,500 kids and 600 toddlers earn the title Kids of Steel; a record 700 kids race in the UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run
PITTSBURGH, PA – “Family Day” at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events featured a record 16,000 participants. Runners, and pets, of all ages participated in four races, which included the UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run, Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh Kids Marathon, Sheetz Pittsburgh Toddler Trot and Blue Buffalo Pittsburgh Pet Walk.
“Saturday of race weekend is designed for every runner, with an event for everyone in the family — even pets!” said Patrice Matamoros, P3R CEO and race director. “It brings me so much joy to see so many families moving together. Today was truly a celebration of health and wellness for runners of all ages and abilities in the City of Pittsburgh.”
An event record of 4,500 - including 700 kids - registered for the 9th annual UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run. Pittsburgh native Sean Battis, 37, repeated as the men’s champion, crossing first in 16 minutes, 55 seconds. Brian Reider, 33 of Bridgeport, secured second in 17:39, and Timothy Lyman, 16, of Pittsburgh placed third in 18:05.
“I was feeling good after achieving a new personal best at the Zurich Marathon last weekend,” Battis said. “I now live in Switzerland, so it was awesome to come home to Pittsburgh and win the race for the second year in a row. I was hoping to repeat!”
In the women’s 3.1 mile race, Laura Harnish, 32, of Pittsburgh, broke the tape and finished in 18:12. The two-time champion also won the race in 2016.
“I participate in Pittsburgh Marathon weekend in some way every year, and I was excited to race â€• and hopefully place â€• in the 5K once again,” Harnish said. "Today was a great warm up before tomorrow’s big race, and I’m looking forward to running the FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay dressed as a hot dog as part of the Franktuary relay team.”
McKeesport resident Erika Leigh, 36, finished second in 19:46 and Pittsburgh resident Lenna Birchard, 10, finished third in 20:01. For complete 5K results, go to: www.thePittsburghMarathon.com/results
The one-mile Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh Kids Marathon, which started near PNC Park, drew more than 6,700 kids from 145 local schools and organizations and their parents. Pittsburgh Steelers T.J. Watt and Mason Rudolph, as well as several mascots such as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Iceburgh, Pirates Pierogies and Chick-fil-A cows were on hand to motivate the kids at the start line.
Many of the kids celebrated their “last mile” of the Kids of Steel program. During the program, participants are challenged to complete the equivalent of 26.2 miles (the distance of a full marathon) of physical activity. This year alone, participants logged more than 200,000 miles of running as part of their training, which is enough to circle the Earth seven times!
The fifth annual Sheetz Pittsburgh Toddler Trot, which was held at the Finish Line Festival in Point State Park, was also a place of pure joy and laughter as more than 600 toddlers ages nine months to four-years-old participated in their first race and earned their first medal alongside their parents.
Later at the Festival, the seventh annual Blue Buffalo Pittsburgh Pet Walk ended the day on a high note as 186 humans and their four-legged best friends covered a one-mile course in Point State Park. The walk once again benefited the Humane Animal Rescue. Since its start in 2013, the Pittsburgh Pet Walk has hosted nearly 1,000 pets and contributed more than $25,000 to one of the largest animal welfare associations in Pennsylvania!
Organized by P3R (Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc.), the 12th edition of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events is set for May 1-3, 2020. For more information, go to: www.thePittsburghMarathon.com
About the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events
The Pittsburgh Marathon was held annually from 1985-2003. After a five-year hiatus, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon was relaunched in 2009 and debuted with a sold-out field of 10,000 participants. It has grown each year since, evolving from a single race day into a weekend of events for the whole family that annually attracts nearly 40,000 runners. The event will host the USATF Half Marathon Championships for the second year in a row in 2019 and is a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. Read more at www.ThePittsburghMarathon.com.
About P3R (Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc.)
P3R is a nonprofit organization that is passionate about promoting the love of running and enhancing community access to health & fitness education and activities. Best known for organizing the acclaimed annual DSG Pittsburgh Marathon, we also manage a variety of other high-quality races, events and health & fitness programs throughout the Pittsburgh region. While many of our races attract some of the nation’s highest-profile professional athletes, we offer activities for all ages and ability levels. The only criterion for participation is a desire to be happy, healthy and active! Read more at www.P3R.org.