PITTSBURGH – About three dozen participants in this weekend’s Pittsburgh Marathon will be runners who weren’t able to finish last month’s Boston Marathon because of the bombings.
Marathon spokeswoman Kelsey Jackson said race sponsor Dick’s Sporting Goods is paying transportation and lodging costs to help the 37 runners participate today.
“A lot of them are raising money for charities in Boston,” Jackson said. “They wanted to stick with their commitment and are coming to Pittsburgh to finish the race.”
Most of the runners, who are from as far away as Alaska, are taking part in the full marathon although a few are running the half-marathon.
Jackson said some were within the final mile when the course was closed due to the bombings.
“To not be able to finish, we understand how disappointing that was,” Dave Natale of Dick’s Sporting Goods told KDKA-TV. “We felt it was really important for us to step up.”
Organizers announced earlier that race directors for May marathons in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland were joining an effort to raise money to help families affected by the attack.
A moment of silence is planned at the start line before the race begins this morning. About 26,000 runners are expected to take part in the marathon, half-marathon and relay race.