1). The Scenic Course Is Not to Be Missed. Rolling, green hills. Bridges crisscrossing the city, connecting to charming neighborhoods. Three rivers winding around a picturesque Downtown. Old-world architecture sharing space with modern skyscrapers. Running up the hills is worth the stunning views you see from the top.
2). It’s a Weekend-long Celebration. The DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is an unofficial holiday. Race Day is the pinnacle event, but Pittsburgh has three full days of excitement, including the GNC Live Well Health & Wellness Expo, a 5K run, Pet Walk and more.
3). The Neighborhoods. All 90 of them. But don’t worry, you only have to run through 13! There are plenty of parties everywhere to keep you going, too. Each neighborhood along the course has its own unique flavor, offering a variety of entertainment, traditions and food. From the Strip District’s “Marathon Tailgate” to Home wood’s specially-choreographed dances, the city goes all out to welcome runners.
4). The Music. It’s Everywhere along the Course. There are live bands – 60 this year!. You’ll hear it as you make your way through each mile. Just when you think you hit the wall, the music gets your stride and you’ll get past it. It’s a welcoming sound that ’ll drive you forward even if muscles are screaming.
5). It’s Family Friendly. Whether you bring your tiny tykes for the Sheetz Pittsburgh Toddler Trot, the bigger kids for the Toyota Pittsburgh Kids Marathon or your “furkids” for the Rachel Ray Nutrish Pittsburgh Pet Walk, there are events for everyone in the family.
6). Crowd Support. Thousands of people line the city streets. It’s one of the big reasons the Pittsburgh Marathon wasranked “#8 marathon in the world” by Active Times in 2014. Cheer-a-thon groups, performers and locals holding signs with encouraging messages applaud as you pass. There are folks offering healthy snacks and cups of water, small enough to grab and keep running. Fans of all ages shout “You can do it!” And you think,“Yep, I can.”
7). The Restaurants. What does every runner want after a long race? A delicious plate of a food and ice cold adult beverage. Pittsburgh’s got you covered. Named by Zagat as the nation’s “No. 1 Food City”, Pittsburgh’s culinary scene is top notch. Pair your Pittsburgh dish with one of the many local brews and you’ve got the perfect post-race reward. Some things to try: pierogis (dumplings filled with mashed potatoes, cheese or sauerkraut, cooked in butter and onions); Pittsburgh salad (heaping greens topped with French fries, chicken or steak); a Primanti Bros. sandwich (choice of meat, cheese, French fries and coleslaw stacked atop thick Italian bread).
8). It’s a Runner’s City. Ranked among the top 50 best running cities by Runners World(No.17), Pittsburgh offers the perfect mix of urban places and green spaces. The hills provide just enough challenge to up your game. Running the course is like taking a personal tour of a city that is “one of the top places to visit in 2017,” according to Harper’s Bazaar.
9). Downhill. The last 4.5 miles are all downhill. So, when you see the downtown skyline, you are pretty close to the finish line (and beautiful Point State Park). And that view is everything because it means the end is in sight – and it’s all downhill from there!
To find out more and plan your trip to Pittsburgh, for Marathon Weekend, click here