Pittsburgh Marathon – running for a reason

Published May 1, 2013 at 11:28 am (Updated May 1, 2013 at 11:28 am)

This weekend, thousands upon thousands of people will descend on Downtown Pittsburgh for the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on May 5. Parties, pasta dinners and other events will take place in the days leading up to the big race, which takes place less than three weeks after the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon. The Marathon, Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay are all sold out.

Last week, The Almanac ran an article that touched base with Pittsburgh Marathon staff, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and local runners. All were in agreement – the show must go on. Everyone has worked too hard for too long to throw in the towel. In fact, planning for the 2013 race began immediately after the 2012 race. For those employed by the Pittsburgh Marathon, each race is a year-long project that involves multiple tiers of tasks, from course logistics to promotions to, of course, the safety of all involved.

The City of Pittsburgh works diligently, providing police officers, planning alternate traffic routes and, again, putting the safety of the runners, spectators, and all volunteers and staff first.

And lets not forget the runners – training to run 26.2 miles is not something that can be done a mere month in advance. Runners train for months, years sometimes, to prepare. For some, it’s something to cross off of a personal bucket list. Others do it to raise funds for charity, in memory of a loved one and simply because they love to run. This year many have added another reason to run – honoring the victims and runners of the Boston Marathon.

Extra safety measures have been put into place, including the banning of backpacks, duffle bags and large purses carried by runners. If spectators or volunteers carry such bags, they will be submitted to inspection during the race and after, and at the Finish Line Festival following the race at Point State Park.

If all goes well, this year’s Pittsburgh Marathon will go down on the books as another success for the city and for the Marathon.

Here’s to a safe, smooth and – relatively – quick 26.2 miles.

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