PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Thousands of people from all over the world have converged on Pittsburgh this weekend for the 10th anniversary of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.
Both runners and neighborhoods along the route were busy preparing Saturday.
Kenny and Megan Hershey and their three children drove to Pittsburgh from Erie to run in the marathon. Their daughters ran in the children’s marathon Saturday.
Megan will tackle the hills of Pittsburgh in the marathon Sunday.
“I hope so, ready or not, but if I go up, I have to come back down,” Megan said, “so I’ll make up time on my downhill run.”
“We’ve been here for, like, two hours probably,” Kenny said. “We’ve been having fun and meeting Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.”
Speaking of JuJu, he participated in the pet walk with his dog, Boojee, and gave the runners in the children’s race a pep talk.
He’s having a love affair with the city.
“To be of Pittsburgh, a Steeler, you know, this is what I live for,” he said. “It’s not only about the team. It’s about the community, the people, the kids.”
It’s estimated that nearly 350,000 people will participate in the three-day event. Streets were blocked off and traffic has been rerouted as downtown Pittsburgh has been converted into Marathon City.
“A lot of spectators come down early with their family members, and so then they’re here for pretty much half of the day, enjoying downtown Pittsburgh whether it be going for a cup of coffee, going for brunch and just enjoying the park afterward,” marathon director Patrice Matamoros said.
“It keeps on growing and maybe next year, I might try the half marathon, who knows?” Suzanne Monsek, of West Mifflin, said.
As the marathon continues to grow and improve, security has been taken to another level.
“I think our world has changed so significantly, and I think our city is so proactive in what they do for security and safety and just really being prepared for anything and everything,” Matamoros said.