PITTSBURGH - P3R, Pittsburgh’s premier race organization, has announced that Michele Fetting and Louis Kushner, each of whom was responsible for bringing back the marathon to Pittsburgh in 2009 and have overseen its growth and success since that time, will each be named “Founding Chairperson Emeritus” in appreciation of their unwavering commitment to the success of P3R and the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.
Fetting and Kushner were both major players in securing DICK’S Sporting Goods as the marathon’s title sponsor.
“Without the inspiration and determination of Michelle and Lou, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon as well as a host of other races that we all enjoy in Pittsburgh today would not exist,” said Stanley Parker, President of the P3R Board of Directors.
Pittsburgh was recently named one of the “Top Ten Cities in the Country for Runners” by Smart Asset. In 2014, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon was named the “Eighth Best Marathon in the U.S.” by The Actives Times.
“Because of Michele and Lou’s insightful leadership and steadfast support, we have turned Pittsburgh into one of the top running cities in the country,” said P3R CEO Patrice Matamoros. “We are so grateful of all they have given P3R and Pittsburgh.”
The Pittsburgh Marathon went on hiatus in 2003, after its title sponsor was lost. Bringing it back was no small task but Fetting was never one to be afraid of a challenge. During the time she was working with Kushner, Matamoros and many others to bring back the marathon, Fetting was also battling Stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Fetting underwent endless rounds of chemotherapy and on September 4, 2008, she had a stem cell transplant at UPMC Shadyside. She remembers that day not as the day she had major surgery but as her first day of Marathon training. Fetting made it her mission to recover quickly and train for the marathon she worked so hard to revive. Eight months later, on May 3, 2009, Fetting ran all 26.2 miles of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.
In 2009, the race weekend of events drew 10,500 runners. This year, more than 40,000 runners are expected to take part in race weekend. Also, this year the Run for a Reason Charity Program presented by Bank of America surpassed the $10 million fundraising mark since its inception. Fetting and Kushner helped shape P3R’s strategy and vision to position P3R to be the leading race organization in Western Pennsylvania.
About the P3R
P3R is a nonprofit organization that is passionate about promoting the love of running and enhancing community access to health & fitness education and activities. Best known for organizing the acclaimed annual DSG Pittsburgh Marathon, we also run a variety of other high-quality races, events and health & fitness programs throughout the Pittsburgh region. While many of our races attract some of the nation’s high-profile professional athletes, we offer activities for all ages and ability levels. The only criterion for participation is a desire to be happy, healthy and active.