I feel like I just “became a runner” yesterday, and here I am running my fourth DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 — had a surprise baby in March 2018, so I skipped that year).
Sometimes, other ask, “Why don’t you try a different race?” I’ve tried different races, and I love them, too — but there’s just something about Pittsburgh that keeps me comin’ back.
Actually, there is more than just “something” that keeps me running Pittsburgh:
There are SO many amazing charities to choose from. I love that P3R, the engine behind the Pittsburgh Marathon and other amazing races in Pittsburgh, provides so many amazing fundraising options: SIXTY-FOUR, to be exact! This year, I chose Steel City Greyhounds because those pups helped me get past the almighty “wall” around mile 19ish last year. You can learn more about Pittsburgh’s Bank Of America charity program and run for charity by clicking HERE.
Not a full marathoner? No problem — there’s a race for everyone. The DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events has a race for everyone, even toddlers and fur children! I love that my family and I can travel to Pittsburgh for the weekend so all of us can participate and enjoy the city. The full list of marathon weekend events includes: DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon, FedEx Marathon Relay (teams of 2-5), UPMC Sports Medicine 5k, Chick-Fil-A Pittsburgh Kids Marathon (1-mile), Sheetz Toddler Trot, and the pet walk. Learn more and register HERE — and don’t forget that code POULLAS15 saves you 15% on ANY of these events!
The races are well-oiled and run super smooth. Most of you know that I am a former marathon race director. I founded the Youngstown Marathon, and I served as race director in 2017 and 2018. I know firsthand what it takes to put on an amazing race day, and the team at P3R does an outstanding job. Since I began running the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events in 2016, the expo organization, dedicated volunteers, open communication, and course layout never cease to amaze me. Not gonna lie — when I directed, our races began a few minutes late, LOL. Not in Pittsburgh!
This year, there’s a referral program for anyone! Race Roster offers any registrant the ability to earn money for referrals. While you don’t have a coupon code to share, you can (and should!) absolutely share your custom referral link. You can earn earn up to $5 for each registrant. I’ve never run another major race that offers this cool way to earn back your registration. If you’re already registered, visit your Race Roster dashboard, scroll to the bottom, and you’ll find your custom referral link and data.
Your training buddies await you. Pittsburgh’s chapter of Road Runners Club Of America, Steel City Road Runners, is the most inclusive running club I’ve interacted with. SCRR’s training runs are built to support runners of all skill level and distances, and they’ve got multiple groups around the city of Pittsburgh. If you’re looking to train with a group, SCRR offers training runs for everyone from 6-minute milers to Galloway groups. Learn more about SCRR and consider supporting their organization by joining! PS: You get a marathon weekend race morning breakfast on Sunday if you’re a SCRR member. Juuuuust sayin’.
The in-training gear, tho. The P3R Store and Brooks Running know how to make a training shirt right, that’s for sure. Between the in-training clothing, accessories, and of course the Ready.Set.MOVE box that helps you get moving, I haven’t seen better in-training gear out there. OH, and of course, you can save $10 on your first Ready.Set.MOVE box subscription with code POULLAS10. Visit the P3R Store HERE!
If you can’t run, there are so many other great ways to be involved. No one likes sitting out because of injury or personal stuff, but life happens. Last year, I volunteered in the Social Center on Saturday after I ran the 5k, and it was so cool to feel like an integral part of the race. A lot of people think “race volunteer” is defined as cleaning up cups on the road or being up at the butt-crack of dawn to blow up a finish line inflatable. While those are important and necessary parts of the race that require dedicated volunteers, Pittsburgh has a lot more to offer you from manning the race’s social media to stuffing packets (in April!) to working at one of many hospitality tents. I’ll be stuffing packets in April; CLICK HERE to learn about volunteer opportunities and consider joining me! #be1of6000volunteers
As always, the bling is amazing! I love heavy medal — yes, MEDAL, not metal (see what I did there?). It seems like the medals for the marathon weekend of events get heavier and heavier each year. Not only do all finishers get a medal, but if you complete the Steel Challenge (5k on Saturday and a race on Sunday), you’ll get a third medal. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take #ALLTHEBLING.
Alright; who is in?! REGISTER for the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon of events and use code POULLAS15 for $15 off your registration of ANY race!