Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Marathon Brings 'A Little City' to Pittsburgh

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Marathon Brings 'A Little City' to Pittsburgh

Article excerpt

Es un festival!

For more than 30,000 registered runners in five separate races, the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is a battle of endurance, pressing the human body to its limits on Pittsburgh's notoriously tough terrain.

But for some 100,000 spectators expected to line the courses and cheer on the runners, the May 5 event will be the city's biggest Cinco de Mayo party, with Mexican music, food and theme events planned at the start and finish lines and at nine related festivals planned across the city.

"Once we realized the date fell on Cinco de Mayo, picking this year's theme was really easy," said marathon executive director Patrice Matamoros.

With top-tier participants rolling in from all over the world, the Pittsburgh event has had a strong international flavor since its start in 1985 (the marathon was suspended 2004 to 2008). Mexican runners, in fact, have won the race twice: Olympics veteran Rodolfo Gmez Orozco of Mexico City placed first in 1987 with a time of 2 hours 13 minutes and 7 seconds; in 2003 Mexican long-distance runner Juan Camacho set his career personal best time at 2:12:05.

"Mostly, we want the Cinco de Mayo theme to be a lot of fun," said Matamoros. "We're doing all kinds of things."

One of them could set a world record, but not for running. About a month before the race, 6,284 full marathon runners -- the most registrants ever -- were sent video instructions on how to dance the Macarena.

"On race day at the start line, we're going to try to get into the Guinness Book of World Records record for world's largest Macarena dance," said Matamoros. "We need over 2,000 -- we should nail that."

Some 16,000 are registered for the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, and about 1,000 signed up for the FedEx Ground Pittsburgh Marathon Relay. On May 4, two thousand runners will participate in the UPMC Health Plan/UPMC Sports Medicine Pittsburgh 5K Run, and nearly 3,000 youngsters will participate in the Kids of Steel Race. …

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