Since 2011, North Dakota has been sole state not on the Marathon's map - not any longer!
PITTSBURGH, PA - Thanks to a collaboration with VisitPITTSBURGH, The DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, organized by Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. (P3R), can boast that it has runners visiting from every state in the country. This April, Allegheny County's tourism promotion agency launched a social media campaign that targeted North Dakota runners to 'put themselves on the map,' triggering an entry to win a sponsored trip to run the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 3.
"Pittsburgh's marathon has become one of the world's top 20 marathons, attracting runners locally, nationally and internationally," said Patrice Matamoros, P3R CEO. "For years, we've been missing running representation from North Dakota. Finally, with help from VisitPITTSBURGH, we can say that we have a runner representing every state in the union."
In years 2011-2014, runners from 49 states participated in the marathon, with the exception of North Dakota. Jeff Turning Heart, age 31, of Washburn, North Dakota, entered the contest and was randomly selected. He will be running in the half marathon as a training run to the Fargo full marathon a week after Pittsburgh.
"When I got the call that I won, I was both shocked and ecstatic," said Jeff. "I've never been to Pittsburgh and I'm told that there's no better way to experience the city's transformation than by running the marathon."
VisitPITTSBURGH, recognized for its effective social media initiatives, led the effort to attract a runner. The contest asked potential runners to geo-tag their North Dakota locations to a Google map. The contest attracted a dozen entrants and ran from April 10 through 20.
"It's heartening to have every state represented in Pittsburgh's marathon," said Craig Davis, President and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH. "We're delighted that Jeff Turning Heart will be able to experience our beautiful city. We're confident that when he tells his fellow runners about what a great marathon Pittsburgh puts on, other runners from North Dakota will want to participate next year."
The marathon continues to be a positive economic generator for the city. Last year, VisitPITTSBURGH estimated that the DICK's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon resulted in $8.3 million in direct spending for the Pittsburgh area.