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Preparations underway for 2024 Pittsburgh Marathon

Preparations already underway for 2024 Pittsburgh Marathon
Preparations already underway for 2024 Pittsburgh Marathon 02:43

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The Pittsburgh Marathon is the largest sporting event of the year in the city between all the runners and spectators in town spread out over two days.

Even though races won't start until Saturday, preparations could be seen all around the Steel City on Thursday.

From the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where the marathon's expo and packet pickup will begin Friday morning to Point State Park, where post-race celebrations will occur both Saturday and Sunday.

Tory Schooley, the CEO of P3R, the organization that puts on Pittsburgh's Marathon, says they're ready.

"We have a record number of participants this year," said Schooley. "Over 42,000 people will be taking to the streets, starting with our kids' program, the largest in the country. Eight thousand, five hundred kids on Saturday, 5,500-person 5K, and then, shifting to Sunday, we have 23,000 people who will either be doing the half marathon, the marathon, or the relay."

Another big aspect of the race this year is runners hitting the road for a good cause.

"This year, we have a record number of charity runners," said Schooley. "Our Run For A Reason program is expected to raise around $1.5 million, and a lot of that money is going to stay towards our local charities. And we have close to 4,000 runners that will be out there this weekend [between the] 5K, half marathon, [and] marathon, raising money for local charities. So, that's a great cause, and this event is a great way for these charities to raise additional dollars throughout the year."

And while there are a lot of people running this weekend, those runners bring fans with them. Roughly 250,000 spectators are expected in town the next few days, and Schooley says all those people equal big dollars for the city.

"Last year, the economic impact, through a study at Carnegie Mellon, was $25-$30 million," Schooley said. "Now we are 15 to 20% up in registration this year, so we expect more of an economic impact through hotels, restaurants, parking, even people buying shoes throughout the year prepping for the marathon."

While the marathon is sold out, registration is still open for the other events. 

If you have been on the fence about running, now is the time! Schooley also said that while the marathon course is the same as last year, folks can expect more things like pep bands, cheer sections, and fireworks on race day.

Preparations for the race are still ongoing, but with a great race come great road closures. For a full list of course maps, click here.

For expo and packet pickup info, click here.

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