American Development Program to award $40,500 in U.S.-only bonuses for Marathon & Half; runners brave elements to participate in 7th Marathon Kick-off Training Run
(PITTSBURGH, PA) – The 2014 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon women’s champion Clara Santucci made a surprise appearance at this past Saturday’s 7th edition of the Marathon Kick-off Training Run to announce that she will return to the Steel City in 2015 to defend her title. The 2015 race, set for Sunday, May 3, offers a $135,000 prize purse, including American bonuses totaling $40,500.
“I have three goals for 2015: to defend my title, break the course record and make Pittsburgh proud,” said reigning champion Clara Santucci. “I love Pittsburgh and spend a lot of time here as I live in southwest Pennsylvania. When Patrice wrapped the American flag around me after last year’s win, she said, ’You’re a Pittsburgher now!’”
In last year’s race, Santucci beat Ethiopian Yeshimebet Bifa by 2 minutes and 20 seconds to finish in a time of 2 hours, 32 minutes, 25 seconds. Santucci, 27, a Dilliner, PA resident, considers the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon her hometown race. This year she plans to improve her time in preparation for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles.
Santucci will once again be an ambassador for the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R) American Development Program. As an event ambassador, she will interact and provide inspiration to the Pittsburgh running community. Last year, she was a pen pal for second graders at Aiken Elementary who were participating in the Kids of STEEL program and training for the Toyota of Pittsburgh Kids Marathon. On race week, she visited the school and then ran with the kids during the Kids Marathon.
The DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is the first of a series of P3R events that are part of its American Development Program. The second-year program is committed to supporting promising U.S. athletes to help propel their running careers to international standings and participate in world-renowned athletic events such as major marathons and the Olympics.
This past Saturday, a 100-plus runners braved freezing rain and icy conditions and attended the annual kick-off event, which offered distances of 3 and 4 miles. The theme for the 2015 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is focused on games, and this year’s event will feature more than 30,000 competitors and $25,000 in prizes. Runners will play through seven months of virtual and old-fashioned competition – that started at registration, will continue through training and culminate with one epic weekend of games. Throughout the training season and race weekend, runners are encouraged to use the hashtag #GameOnPGH and #RunnerofSteel.