Sometimes there’s nothing more refreshing than a little change of scenery, especially when you’re talking about running in Pittsburgh with all of its iconic landmarks and places to see.
That’s why we’re excited about the changes to the 2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon courses, and we think you will be, too. We’ll be taking you past some of the spots that make Pittsburgh Pittsburgh — especially if you’re a sports fan — while still passing through all the great neighborhoods that make the marathon the marathon.
Here are the details:
2017 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon — The biggest change both full marathon and half marathon runners will notice is that we won’t be crossing the sister bridges of 6th, 7th and 9th streets because of construction and access needed by the city, but based on feedback we’ve gotten in the past we think you’re going to be happy with the adjustments we’ve made.
After starting on Liberty Avenue near 10th Street and taking a tour of the Strip District, runners will cross the 16th Street Bridge and head to the North Side, as has been the case in years past. This year, however, instead of crossing the Allegheny River to Downtown then heading back across to the North Shore, runners will take a new path around Allegheny Commons Park, passing near the Children’s Museum and National Aviary before turning onto Federal Street and then West General Robinson Street to make their way to PNC Park.
Runners will travel the North Shore passing first by the home of the Pirates and then the Steelers and Pitt Football at Heinz Field, enjoying views of Point State Park and the three rivers along the way. After swinging by the Carnegie Science Center and Rivers Casino, runners will cross the West End Bridge and from there things will be a little more familiar.
The course is largely unchanged from that point on, passing through the West End, South Side, Oakland, Shadyside, Point Breeze, Homewood, East Liberty, Highland Park, Friendship and Bloomfield before returning to the Strip District and finishing downtown on the Boulevard of the Allies between Wood Street and Market Street.
2017 UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon — Like the full marathon, half marathon runners will go on a tour of the North Shore passing by the homes of two of Pittsburgh’s three major professional sports teams.
Unlike the full marathon, half marathon runners will also pass the home of the third team.
This year’s course promises to be flatter and faster because now after runners cross the Birmingham Bridge instead of turning left on Forbes Ave., they’ll continue to Fifth Avenue Uptown. This will take runners past PPG Paints Arena and the home of the 2016 Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins as they return to downtown. This year runners will also travel down Grant Street, passing the Pittsburgh City-County Building, before making the right onto Boulevard of the Allies and reaching the finish line between Wood Street and Market Street.
That’s the quick rundown of the changes. Check back soon, however, because over the coming weeks we’ll be giving you a closer look at the course mile by mile, including details about the neighborhoods, the history of the area and some of the interesting buildings and other places you’ll pass on your 13.1- or 26.2-mile tour of Pittsburgh on May 7.