PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The success of the Pittsburgh marathon has spawned new events.
This Sunday, thousands of runners will take to the streets in the inaugural running of the EQT Pittsburgh 10-Miler.
It’s an event the marathon director hopes will solidify the city’s reputation as fitness capital.
“This is a fantastic event for the city,” said Patrice Matamoros, of the Pittsburgh Marathon. “We have almost 5,000 runners represented, 21 states represented.”
But not everybody’s over the moon about it.
The race will close the streets to traffic from 8 a.m. on the South Side, West End, North Side and the Strip District until noon.
Roxanne Hahn, of Roxanne’s Dried Flowers the Strip, had scheduled an open house along with five other businesses to kick off the holiday shopping season.
But she didn’t get wind of the race until two weeks ago after she and others had sent out thousands of cards saying they would be open at 10 a.m.
“If they come down at 10 they will see the barricades and they will leave and not come back,” Hahn said.
The marathon, which prides itself on strong community relations, had hired an outside firm to do the notification and just recently learned that the firm had dropped the ball. It’s now renting a parking lot and providing a shuttle for the Strip businesses.
“We apologize. We hired an outside contractor. We’ll take steps that that never happens again,” said Matamoros. “We hope that people will still come to their event and our runners will visit them after the event.”
Those 5,000 participants will finish on Liberty Avenue downtown, and then walk over to Market Square for a post-race festival in an event the marathon hopes will enhance the city and promote its businesses rather than detract from them.