PITTSBURGH – On an ideal spring morning, the UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run, Toyota Pittsburgh Kids Marathon, Sheetz Pittsburgh Toddler Trot and Rachael Ray Nutrish Pittsburgh Pet Walk opened the 10th anniversary of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events. A Saturday record of more than 15,000 participants - as well as thousands of spectators, family and friends - took over the Steel City streets.
“Our sold-out Saturday races offered something for participants of all ages and abilities - plus dogs and cats! This day celebrated health, fitness and fun and the strong community spirit of Pittsburgh,” said Patrice Matamoros, P3R CEO & race director of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.
At the 8th annual UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run, Sean Battis, 36, from Pittsburgh, won the men’s race, crossing first in 16 minutes, 54 seconds. McKeesport resident Lukas Dunaway, 16, secured second in 17:10, while Arjun Mishra also of Pittsburgh placed third in 17:26.
“This race is such a fun kick-off to Marathon weekend. The crowd support was great, and although I wasn’t expecting to win, it always nice to win,” said Battis, who also later ran the Kids Marathon with his young son.
In the women’s 3.1 mile race, Waverly Neer, 25, Tarrytown, NY, took the title as the USATF Foundation grantee clocked 17:26, just off the event record of 17:18. Pittsburgh residents Mason Palissery and Rachel Rodenbach finished second and third, respectively, in 20:06 and 20:11. For complete 5K results, go to: PittsburghMarathon.com
The one-mile Toyota Pittsburgh Kids Marathon, which started near PNC Park, drew 6,400 kids from 150 local schools and 4,000 parents and adults. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was also on hand to motivate the kids at the start, drawing plenty of smiles and selfies. The kids’ “last mile” was the part of the Kids of STEEL program that encourages kids to complete their own 26.2 mile marathon over an 18-week period.
After crossing the finish line, kids high fived friends and family, as well as mascots like the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Iceburgh and the Chick-fil-A cows, and proudly showed their finisher medals to their parents. Each participant also received food, water and goodie bags.
The fourth annual Sheetz Pittsburgh Toddler Trot, which was held at the Chick-fil-A Finish Line Festival held in Point State Park, was also a place of pure joy and laughter as 9-month-olds to 5-year-olds and their parents shared a memorable experience during “the cutest two minutes of running.”
Later at the festival, the sixth annual Rachael Ray Nutrish Pittsburgh Pet Walk ended the day on a high note as humans and their four-legged best friends covered a one-mile course in Point State Park. Smith-Schuster returned to surprise the crowd, joining in the walk with his beloved french bulldog Boujee. For the event, there were award categories for the Cutest Pet, Best Costume and Dog-Owner Look-A Like with the top dog in each category taking home one year’s supply of Rachael Ray Nutrish pet food. The walk once again benefited the Humane Animal Rescue Shelter & Wildlife Center.
In all four Saturday races, there were more than 15,000 participants! An event record 4,500 registered for the 5K, along with 6,300 in the kids marathon including 4,000 adults, 500 toddler trotters and 100 dogs and their owners in the pet walk.
Organized by the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R), the 11th edition of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events is set for May 4-5, 2019. For more information, go to: PittsburghMarathon.com
About the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R)
P3R is a nonprofit organization that is passionate about promoting a love of running and enhancing community access to health & fitness education and activities. Best known for organizing the acclaimed annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, we also run a variety of other high-quality races, events, and health and 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: P3R.org