PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Plans for this year’s 2016 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon will feature something a little different – a birthday party to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of the city as a legal entity.
“Those runners, along with thousands of other runners, are going to run through 13 different neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods we’re encouraging to celebrate and to throw the biggest birthday party ever,” said Patrice Matamoros, the Pittsburgh Marathon CEO.
Matamoros, CEO of P3R, the non-profit that brought back the Pittsburgh Marathon, announced money to help neighborhoods party on marathon day.
“Our organization is going to provide a matching grant to any of the communities we run through to have a birthday party to welcome runners into their neighborhood and welcome tourists from out of town,” Matamoros said.
This year the marathon is set for Sunday, May 1, and if the past is prologue, it will yield even more than the $10.2 million in direct spending that last year’s marathon produced.
Craig Davis, from VisitPittsburgh, shared these factoids about the 2015 event.
“The 2015 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon attracted more than 40,000 participants from 23 countries, and all 50 states,” said Davis. “We found that 21 percent of the marathon runners were from 100 miles or more, and what does that mean for us, it means that they’re going to have to stay overnight, they’re going to have to have their meals here, and they’re going to have to spend a lot of money.”
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says the Pittsburgh Marathon is now on the international map.
“It’s become a stepping stone for the Olympics. There will be 40 people who have run in this race who have gone on to run in the Olympics,” Fitzgerald said.
More than a race, this year’s marathon is expected to attract over 200,000 on-lookers to a great birthday bash.