Pittsburgh to play host to USA Track and Field half marathon in 2018 and 2019
March 7, 2017 11:59 AM
Half-marathon runners cross the West End Bridge during a past race.
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon has been selected by USA Track and Field to play host to the USATF half marathon for men and women in 2018 and 2019.
USATF will award $85,000 in prize money, and the 2019 championship will also serve as an Olympic qualifier. This is the sixth time the city has played host to a USATF championship. The U.S. women’s Olympic marathon trials were held here in 1998 and the men’s in 2000.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city in another way,” said Patrice Matamoros, CEO for Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon and the race director. “For a city that wasn’t even on the map in the running world we were named the 17th-best running city in the country by Runner’s World Magazine last year.”
Matamoros believes the increased exposure will continue to boost the city’s prestige in the running world.
Last year, the marathon attracted 40,000 runners and 350,000 spectators.
Craig Davis, CEO of VisitPittsburgh, said the money the marathon generates for the city is the equivalent of one-fourth of what a Super Bowl would bring to the city.
“The economic impact can’t be overstated,” county executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “To have the championships here is another great accomplishment for the city of Pittsburgh.”
The tentative purses for the $85,000 in prize money include $12,100 for the men’s and women’s winners, $8,100 for second place and $5,000 for third place. The first 20 finishers will receive prize money.
The date for the 2018 marathon is May 6 and the 2019 marathon will take place May 5.
“The 2018 and 2019 marathons will be a showcase for the city,” mayor Bill Peduto said. “It’s a testament to the people who have been a part of this commitment for decades.”
After a five-year hiatus from 2003-08, the marathon returned in 2009 and has helped the city gain a national reputation as a running-friendly city. The 2018 marathon also will be a celebration of 10 years since the event was reborn.
Ray Fittipaldo: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @rayfitt1.
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