Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon to Be Held May 3rd 2009
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PITTSBURGH, May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The 20th running of the Pittsburgh Marathon, now renamed the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, will be held on Sunday, May 3rd 2009. After starting in 1985 under the leadership of the late Mayor Dick Caliguiri, the Pittsburgh Marathon grew to be a top five marathon in the United States, hosting National Championships and Olympic Trials. Following a six-year hiatus, the event will return to the streets and neighborhoods of the City for the 20th running. "We are pleased to invite the world back to America's Most Livable City to run the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon," said Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. "We are grateful for the vision and leadership of Dick's, Respironics and UPMC Sports Medicine in helping to bring this exciting event back to our City. I look forward to joining the people of our unique neighborhoods as they line the streets of Pittsburgh to cheer on the runners." "For 19 years, the Pittsburgh Marathon brought international recognition, increased health awareness, and substantial economic benefits to Southwestern Pennsylvania," said Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. "The Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is the perfect vehicle to showcase our region as a great place to live, work, play, and run." Dick's Sporting Goods is the largest full line sporting goods store in the nation. With its corporate headquarters located in Pittsburgh, and a growing focus on running, the company decided to take on title sponsorship of the Pittsburgh Marathon. "Since moving our corporate headquarters here in 1994, Dick's Sporting Goods has grown to more than 340 stores in 36 states," said Jeffrey R. Hennion, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Dick's Sporting Goods. "During that time, we have been proud to call Pittsburgh our home and today we are just as proud to be announcing our title sponsorship of the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. This is truly an event with a great legacy, and, given our focus on being the ultimate destination for runners, we are very excited to be a part of its return." In addition to an undisclosed multi-year financial commitment, Dick's Sporting Goods will also be providing the event with a significant amount of marketing support and volunteers from its corporate headquarters and 13 Pittsburgh area store locations. Respironics, a leading provider of innovative products and programs that serve the global sleep and respiratory markets, will present the Half Marathon. "Respironics is excited to support the return of the Pittsburgh Marathon. As in past years, this event is sure to be a highlight for our city. Our company is proud to show our commitment to this region by sponsoring the Half Marathon for the 2009 Pittsburgh Marathon," said Donald J. Spence, President, Respironics Sleep and Home Respiratory Group. UPMC Sports Medicine will be the medical sponsor for the marathon, providing all medical support for runners along the course and at the finish line and coordinating training seminars to be held throughout the year. "The Pittsburgh Marathon is part of the great sports legacy of this City," said Freddie Fu, M.D., founding director of UPMC Sports Medicine, and professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "UPMC Sports Medicine along with UPMC's Department of Emergency Medicine, is very excited to once again work with the City's Emergency Medical Services to provide race-day medical care and pre-race training advice for all runners to safely reap the many health benefits of participating in such an outstanding athletic and community event," added Dr. Fu, who also is former chairman of the Pittsburgh Marathon's Board of Directors. UPMC has led the medical team for every Pittsburgh Marathon, beginning with the first race in 1985. "Proudly, during those years our Marathon medical team had become a model for top races all around the world," said UPMC emergency medicine physician Ronald Roth, M.D., medical director of the City's Department of Public Safety, professor of emergency medicine and chief of the Division of EMS Operations at Pitt's School of Medicine. The Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon will likely attract thousands of runners and visitors to the City, and generate millions of dollars in economic impact while showcasing the region. The race course is still being finalized, but organizers hope it will start on Grant Street in front of the City County Building and finish in the newly renovated Point State Park. The rest of the course will remain almost identical to the most recent course, running through neighborhoods including the North and South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, Point Breeze, Homewood, East Liberty, Bloomfield, Highland Park and the Strip District. To support the re-launch of the Marathon, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development is providing office space in the Regional Enterprise Tower through the event in May 2009. The Pittsburgh Marathon has a place in U.S. running history as the site of the 2000 Olympic trials for men, the 1988 Olympic trials for women -- and the three-time host of the U.S. men's national championships. It was the site of the National Wheelchair Championship in 1986, and the site of the Olympic Trials for Finland and Denmark in the late 1980s. The race has welcomed a strong elite field for both men and women and has awarded big prize money for a city its size. The marathon distance of 26.2 miles has grown exponentially in the last several years, with nearly 500,000 people running a marathon last year (Running USA). The Pittsburgh Marathon will build upon its strong reputation and strive to attract an international field. Prize money for the event has not yet been announced. In the past, the Marathon has brought people from all 50 states and over 20 different countries, including Belarus, Canada, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Ireland and Israel. They took with them a positive experience of the tremendous crowds, beautiful neighborhoods and friendly people. The Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is still seeking sponsors to support the 20th running celebration, including the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay, individual Mile Sponsors, Wheelchair Division and the Kids Marathon. There are many other opportunities to highlight corporate involvement and partnerships with the planning and running of the 2009 event. About Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. (NYSE: DKS) is an authentic full-line sporting goods retailer offering a broad assortment of brand name sporting goods equipment, apparel, and footwear in a specialty store environment. As of February 2, 2008, the Company operated 340 Dick's Sporting Goods stores in 36 states primarily throughout the eastern half of the U.S. The Company also owns Golf Galaxy, a multi-channel golf specialty retailer, with 79 stores in 30 states, ecommerce websites and catalog operations and Chick's Sporting Goods which operates 15 specialty sporting goods stores in Southern California. CONTACT: Jeffrey R. Hennion Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Dick's Sporting Goods 724.273.3400 SOURCE Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. Jeffrey R. Hennion, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of Dick's Sporting Goods, +1-724-273-3400
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