The new route accommodates more runners at the start and is USATF-certified.
On May 15, over 18,000 runners will take to the streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on a brand new marathon course. According to organizers, the course had been changed to accommodate a larger field. A new start and finish line have been designated. Also, at the start, runners will have a long, wide straight stretch of course for the first few miles.
“It’s key for us to have a straight shot for the first 2 to 3 miles, optimally, and it is perfect because it does allow your front runners to get out,” said Patrice Matamoros, the marathon race director.
The race course has been certified by the USATF, which means it can become a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon as well as the Boston Marathon.
From 2004-2009, the marathon had taken a hiatus due to budget constraints, but last year’s marathon was a success with 16,000 people taking part in it. It also boosted the local economy, brining in an estimated $8.2 million to local businesses.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is a big proponent of the race and is planning to run in the half-marathon. “I’ve never done a marathon, but, hopefully, my athletic abilities — limited athletic abilities — are still there enough to get me through it,” he said.
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