P3R (Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc.), the organizers of the annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events and other running events, has made Pittsburgh a top destination for America’s best runners through its American Development Program.
Through the program, elite American runners can receive complimentary race registration, travel assistance, lodging and the opportunity to win prize money at P3R events.
More than $185,000 in prize money is available each year at these events, including the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events, Fleet Feet Liberty Mile and EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler.
“We strive to propel runners forward in their running careers to international standings and participation in world-renowned athletic events,” said P3R CEO Patrice Matamoros. “Through this program, we are committed to supporting promising American runners by providing financial support, as well as the experience and confidence to launch their professional careers.”
“Thanks to the American Development Program, P3R attracts elite athletes to the Pittsburgh area,” Matamoros continued. “This not only helps to boost our local economy; it also draws national attention to our city.”
There is a great need for this support, as only a few of the top professional runners earn six figures annually. In fact, about half of American track athletes who are ranked in the Top 10 nationally earn less than $15,000 per year as professional athletes.
The American Development Program has attracted some of the best U.S. runners, including Olympians, U.S. record holders and Team USA members, to Pittsburgh’s races. Since 2009, P3R has attracted more than 100 American athletes who went on to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials!
Crowning National Champions in the City of Champions
The success of the program made P3R such an attractive partner that USA Track and Field selected Pittsburgh to host the Half Marathon Championships in both 2018 and 2019. Pittsburgh will once again host the national championship race in conjunction with the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events on Sunday, May 5.
This year’s USATF Half Marathon Championships offers a prize purse of $85,000, one of the largest half-marathon prize purses in the country. The top 15 finishers in the male and female open divisions will earn guaranteed prize money, including $15,000 each for the national champions. There will also be additional money available through performance time and record bonuses.
“USATF is excited to return to the City of Champions for the second year in a row to crown our national half marathon winners,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “Last year’s race yielded great performances, and we’re looking forward to more of the same this year.”
More than 75 runners are expected to compete in this year’s Half Marathon Championships. Headlining this year’s field of top American runners are Emma Bates and Brogan Austin, the 2018 USATF Marathon Champions.
“I am very excited to be heading back to Pittsburgh in May for the 2019 USATF Half Marathon Championships,” Austin said. “This will be my third time visiting the Steel City, and each time I’ve grown more of an affinity for the challenging course and the amazing crowd support.”
Moving Athletes Toward their Olympic Dreams
This year’s DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon has also attracted emerging American runners who hope to use their finishing time in Pittsburgh to qualify for the 2020 U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials. To support these athletes, P3R will provide a pace team who will lead the American female elites to an Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifying “B” Standard time. The trio of Pittsburgh competitive runners will reach the finish line in 2:44:59 (“B” Standard time is 2:45:00).
“We hope to see several athletes qualify for the U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials on race day and to celebrate with them as they get one step closer to achieving their Olympic dreams,” Matamoros said.
For more information about the 2019 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, visit thePittsburghMarathon.com.