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Originally published Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 11:27 AM

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Organizers unveil new Pittsburgh Marathon route

Organizers of the Pittsburgh Marathon say a new route that crosses all three of the city's rivers provides enough room this year for up to 18,000 runners - and thousands more if the race continues to grow.

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH —

Organizers of the Pittsburgh Marathon say a new route that crosses all three of the city's rivers provides enough room this year for up to 18,000 runners - and thousands more if the race continues to grow.

The change is one of several being made to grow the race that resumed in 2009 police overtime and other costs forced a five-year hiatus.

The race attracted a record 16,000 runners last year, including participants in a half-marathon. The new route crossing the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers was chosen to accommodate 2,000 more runners this year, but would be safe for up to 35,000.

Organizers say the new course will also enable participants to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials or the Boston Marathon if they run a fast enough time in their respective age groups.

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