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Official Medical Sponsor of the Pittsburgh Marathon

UPMC Sports Medicine is the official medical sponsor of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon.

On this page, find some facts about:


About the Medical Team

UPMC Sports Medicine, with the UPMC Department of Emergency Medicine and City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, leads a team of more than 250 medical volunteers at the marathon. Team members from UPMC, other local hospitals, and EMS bureaus care for the 18,000+ runners and walkers.

More than 100 amateur radio operators volunteer to assist with radio devices. These radios enable team members to communicate efficiently during the race and manage any situation quickly.

Marathon medical team members

Many medical team members have been working together since the first marathon in 1985.

The medical team — all volunteering their time and skill — consists of:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • EMTs
  • Paramedics
  • Podiatrists
  • Certified athletic trainers
  • Physical therapists
  • Massage therapists
  • Medical, nursing, and athletic training students

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Race-day Medical Services

On the day of the marathon, the medical team will equip and staff 17 aid stations along the course and a tent near the finish line.

The medical tent will include sections for:

  • Sports medicine
  • Acute care
  • General medicine

Next to the medical tent will be a unit for the wheelchair athletes, staffed by experts from the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute.

The City of Pittsburgh’s Bureau of EMS and volunteers from nearby communities will provide and manage more than 25 ambulances on race day.

Medical supplies for the race

The team expects to use the following medical supplies, provided by UPMC Sports Medicine, on race day:

  • 18,000 blankets
  • 7,600 Band-Aids
  • 5,000 pairs of surgical gloves
  • 4,600 alcohol wipes
  • 2,100 lancets to treat blisters
  • 2,000 bags of ice
  • 600 towels
  • 475 ACE bandage wraps
  • 250 rolls of cloth tape
  • 200 IVs
  • 150 cots
  • 100 jars of petroleum jelly
  • 47 bottles of hand sanitizer
  • 40 containers of antibacterial cleaning wipes

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Common Race-day Medical Problems and Injuries We Treat

About 1 to 3 percent of marathon runners require some type of care during the race. Most injuries and illnesses aren't serious.

Runners’ most common problems involve:

  • Muscle cramping
  • Overuse sprains and strains
  • Blisters
  • Stomach cramping
  • Non-adequate fluid replacement

The volume and types of injuries mostly depend on race-day weather conditions. Warmer weather tends to cause a larger number of health problems for non-elite runners who haven't yet adapted to the heat.

A universal flag system at each aid station signals weather conditions and precautions for runners.

Marathon training seminars

For each Pittsburgh Marathon, UPMC Sports Medicine provides free training seminars to help both novice and seasoned marathon runners.

We cover topics such as:

  • Injury prevention and treatment
  • Nutrition
  • Mental training
  • Performance optimization

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