PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Roughly 30,000 runners will descend on downtown Pittsburgh this weekend for the marathon and about three dozen of them weren’t allowed to finish the Boston marathon.

There are many reasons people run a race, including the exhileration of crossing the finish line. For 1,500 people in Boston last month, they weren’t allowed to finish what they started.

“It’s so upsetting and you can see it and you don’t know what to do. You don’t want to listen and you just want to keep on running and you want to get there,” Pittsburgh Marathon Director of Development Andriane Deithorn said.

Now, Dick’s Sporting Goods, sponsor of the Pittsburgh Marathon, is stepping in to give 37 of those runners a second chance.

“To not be able to finish, we understand how disappointing that was. We felt it was really important for us to step up,” Dave Natale from Dick’s Sporting Goods said.

Dick’s Sporting Goods reached out to the runners and was overwhelmed so many said yes.

“We have a runner coming in from as far away as Alaska for this, so we have stepped up the support, their airfare, their flights, to come in. Their transportation while they are here, and we are even hosting a dinner for them Saturday night where we will pull all 37 runners together for them to meet each other, share their stories, really have a great time and celebrate what is a great event for the City of Pittsburgh,” Natale said.

You can support Boston and the victims this week by purchasing a blue wrist band with a $1 donation.

“Many people have been giving $5, $10 $15, $20, $25, which has been great. And then other non-profit charities that we have been working with are buying a boatload of them to support Boston as well which is really awesome,” Deithorn said.

The wristbands are available online or can be picked up at the Marathon Expo at the Convention Center this weekend.


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