Overall event prize purse exceeds $100,000; UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon $34,500 purse in top five for U.S. half-marathons; 30,000-plus runners expected in The Steel City
PITTSBURGH - The 5th DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, set for Sunday, May 5, 2013, has attracted a deep elite field, including returning top finishers and accomplished local distance runners. Race organizers are offering an event record prize purse of more than $100,000 for its weekend of events, including a significant increase in the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon prize purse, from $25,200 to $34,500.
"The increase in prize money has attracted an even deeper and more talented field of elite runners in both the Marathon and Half Marathon," said Patrice Matamoros, race director of the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. "This added incentive should create a very exciting race for the competitors and spectators on Sunday."
Familiar faces are returning to the race including, last year's Marathon champion James Kirwa, of Kenya, who won the 2012 DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon with a time of 2:14:09. Out to challenge him on race day will be Joseph Mutinda from Kenya and Tumicha Horsa from Ethiopia. Pennsylvania-native Jed Christiansen, who placed fifth in the 2012 UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon and has a marathon personal record of 2:18:31, leads the American field.
Top American Mary Akor, who won the 2012 Des Moines Marathon with a course record of 2:35:01, headlines the women's Marathon field with tough competition from Ethiopians Yihunilish Bekele Delelecha, Hirut Beyene Guangul and Serkalem Biset Abrha. Leading Pennsylvanian runner Lauren Woodring ran her debut marathon at the 2012 DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon in 2:56:27 and later won the 2012 Columbus Marathon clocking 2:45:29.
Robert Wambua of Kenya and Tesfaye Girma Bekele of Ethiopia are eyeing the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon event record of 1:02:57, set last year by Julius Koskei of Kenya. Also watch out for Americans Jason Ordway and Matt Levassiur, who have half-marathon personal records of 1:04:24 and 1:04:53, respectively.
Runner-up at the 2012 UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Ethiopian Risper Gesabwa, is looking to take home top prize money this year and improve on last year's time of 1:13:36. Also competing for a top place is Jebichii Yator of Kenya with a personal record of 1:13:41.
An event record of more than 30,000 participants are expected to participate in race weekend, which includes the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Pittsburgh Marathon, FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay, UPMC Health Plan / UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run, Toyota of Pittsburgh Kids Marathon and Purina Pro Plan Pittsburgh Pet Walk.
The USATF-sanctioned event and Boston-qualifier features a course with a moderate incline for a city that is known for its hills. Runners will see various highlights of the City of Bridges, including the Strip District, East Carson Street in Pittsburgh's South Side, University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh's own Little Italy.
James Kirwa (KEN)
Joespeh Mutinda (KEN)
Tumicha Horsa (ETH)
Tariku Aboset Bokan (ETH)
John Njoroge (KEN)
Jed Christiansen (USA)
Mary Akor (USA)
Yihunilish Bekele Delelecha (ETH)
Hirut Beyene Guangul (ETH)
Serkalem Biset Abrha (ETH)
Lauren Woodring (USA)
Robert Wambua (KEN)
Tesfaye Girma Bekele (ETH)
Mengistu Nebsi (ETH)
Dereje Tadesse Girma (ETH)
Philemon Terer (KEN)
Matt Levassiur (USA)
Jason Ordway (USA)
Risper Gesabwa (KEN)
Sara Raschiatore (USA)
Bekelech Bedad (ETH)
Jebichii Yator (KEN)
About the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
Organized by the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is a world class event for runners across the globe. The race ignites the spirit of Pittsburgh, spanning 13 neighborhoods and boasting 9 festivals. The 2013 course will start and finish in Downtown Pittsburgh on Sunday, May 5, 2013. Prior to the race, the two-day GNC Live Well Pittsburgh Health & Fitness Expo will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4.
For more information, visit: PittsburghMarathon.com