Skip to Content

Official Medical Provider of the Pittsburgh Marathon

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

About the Medical Team

UPMC and the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services lead a team of more than 500 medical volunteers at the marathon. Team members from UPMC and EMS bureaus care for the 40,000+ participants.

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.

Race-day Medical Services

On the day of the marathon, the medical team will equip and staff 15 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 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 ambulances on race day.

Common Race-day Medical Problems and Injuries We Treat

About 1% to 3% 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.
  • Inadequate 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 provides training seminars to help both novice and seasoned marathon runners.

We cover topics such as:

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