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 17,000 MOVERS braved the weather to return for Marathon Sunday

Pittsburgh native Nicole Hilton takes homes gold in the 26.2 miles


Last updated 5/9/2022 at 8:32pm

At the 14th DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon under rainy and sometimes downpour conditions, more than 17,000 runners braved the weather to return to the in-person Pittsburgh Marathon. Runners have spent the past two years running virtually through the pandemic, and thousands finally were able to experience the in-person race for the first time.

P3R CEO Troy Schooley expressed his excitement for runners to return to the streets of Pittsburgh after three years of virtual running. “The energy we felt from all of our Runners of STEEL today was unforgettable,” he shared. “More than 17,000 people crossed the finish line today, and every single one of them had a story about how they got there. The emotion of the past two years was palpable at the finish line.”

Alvaro Abreu of the Dominican Republic and Nicole Hilton from Pittsburgh won the 26.2 mile race in 2 hours, 16 minutes, 7 seconds and 2:49:49, respectively. In the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon, Kenyan Wesley Kiptoo set a new course record, completing the race in 1:01:25. Caroline Rotich of Kenya took home the woman’s gold medal, also setting a course record, crossing the finish line in 1:09:30.

In the men’s marathon race, Joseph Whelan, Abreu, and Nelson Oyugi lead the first few miles. Whelan and Abreu remained together until mile 12 where Abreu began to pull ahead. Three miles later, Abreu began to expand his lead, passing the 15-mile mark in 1:18:28. With this strong lead, Abreu cruised to the finish, winning the race with a time of 2:16:07. Coming in second was Whelan, who recorded a finishing time of 2:21:08. American, Christian Thompson placed third, crossing the finish line at 2:24:41.

In the women’s division, two Pittsburgh natives claimed their spots on the podium. In her marathon debut, South Fayette native Nicole Hilton placed first with a time of 2:49:49. Following her was another Pittsburgher, Ann Mazur, who crossed the finish line at 2:53:50. In third came Kimberly Mills, finishing with a time of 3:01:59.

“I didn’t have any expectations going into this race since it was my first marathon, so I am just extremely happy with how it turned out,” Hilton said. “It’s a great feeling to see this result from months of training. I’m a Pittsburgh girl through and through so to be able to run this race, through all the neighborhoods, with the support all along the course just made it an incredible experience overall.”

Sharing the streets with these medalists were over 17,000 MOVERS, participating in a variety of events. More than 500 relay teams completed the FedEx Pittsburgh Marathon Relay while over 500 others participated in the very first UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon Walking Division. Also new this year was the UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Back Half Marathon. This event gave charity Movers who raised $1,500 for the Run For A Reason Charity Program, presented by Microsoft, the opportunity to see the second half of the marathon course, sights only seen before by marathon participants.

Despite the on-and-off rain, the finish line area was filled with thousands of umbrella-wielding spectators throughout the entirety of the event, cheering for participants and creating a cheery atmosphere. All of the races finished in the same location on the Boulevard of the Allies in downtown Pittsburgh where Movers were congratulated by high fives from Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Excitement and anticipation were apparent as the event’s three-year hiatus had finally come to an end, enabling Movers of all ages and athletic abilities to come together to achieve a common goal and earn the title, “Runner of Steel.”

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