The Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon is partnering with a health and nutrition company to host the first GNC Liberty Mile run. It is expected to be the third largest competitive one-mile road race in the United States.
The event will take place on August 17 and will begin at 7:00 PM on Liberty Ave. Runners will line up on 17th Street in the Strip District and cross the finish line on 6th Street downtown. The male and female runners who come in first will each take home $4,000.
Jennifer May, spokeswoman for the Pittsburgh Marathon, said the event is part of a campaign to bring the "one-mile" into the spotlight once again. "The goal of that campaign is to bring back the prominence in American sports that this race has had, you know, a very rich history. It's an Olympic year, so it's a great year to celebrate the distance itself," said May.
More than 20 cities are holding similar one-mile events, including New York, St. Paul, Nashville, Madison and Palo Alto. The closest Olympic contest in distance to the mile is the 1,500 meter event, about .93 of a mile.
The Olympic trials for the USA Track and Field team will be held June 21-25 in Beaverton, Oregon. "We are hoping to get the person, you know, the fourth place person that doesn't qualify for the Olympics, so I think we are anticipating a good professional category with good, elite runners and it will be fast," said May.
There will be six different "heats" or categories that runners can register for if they wish to compete:
- "One for Fun"- A recreational mile for anyone ages 5 and up
- "Giving Back"- A run for anyone who wants to raise money for a participating charity
- "It's All Business"- A run for companies who can compete with their corporate teammates
- "Winning…at 40+"- A masters mile for runners 40 years of age and older
- "Unstoppable"- A run open to anyone between the ages of 13-39 who can run in 6:00 and under
- "Expert"- A run open to males who can run in 4:17 and under and females who can run in 5:00 and under, ages 18 and up.
"The premise of the event is to have a fun, family event downtown that involves a wide spectrum of people from the professional, elite runner to high school or collegiate athlete that is interested in participating in a professional race, down to a kid that is just looking to get out there and run and have fun," said May.
For more information or to register for the event, visit the Liberty Mile website.