Cardinals v Red Sox 2013    Baseball, in some ways, is like the marathon.  Both sports require the ability to endure a long, grueling task, be it months of training and 26.2 miles of racing, or months of a 162-game season, and the intensity of multiple championship series.  Both sports take from low two-hours to five-hours plus to complete, and taken in small doses or out of context, can seem incomparably boring. Yet when followed closely throughout a season or a race, the drama of each competition builds to Shakespearean levels, until every pitch, every foot strike takes on the weight of the world, and the glory of accomplishment — sometimes even in defeat — can resonate for a lifetime and beyond.

And so as the baseball season begins its annual fall ritual tonight in Boston with the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals taking on host American League king Boston Red Sox, we await the culminating event of the 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors cycle on the first weekend of November at the ING New York City Marathon with equal anticipation.

This year’s Fall Classic promises to be a beauty, as the Cards and the Sox have proven their mettle — both teams completed their seasons with a record of 97 —  65.  Both have excellent pitching, powerful offenses, and legendary support from their iconic fan bases.  We can only hope to witness a level of drama at the ING New York City Marathon November 3rd that will approximate what is expected in Boston and St. Louis – America’s Best Baseball Town. Continue reading

Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. Adds American Development Program

Pittsburgh Three Rivers Inc. CEO Patrice Matamoros

Pittsburgh Three Rivers Inc. CEO Patrice Matamoros

In the past several years we have seen event organizers in several cities expand their portfolio of races in what can be seen as an ad hoc movement to bolster the sport’s shrinking profile on their city’s sporting landscape.  Even running’s national governing body, USATF, entered the arena with the scheduling of their first ever wholly-owned road race property, the .US National Road Racing Championships November 17 in Alexandria, Virginia.

That grassroots movement was offset and temporarily outshone this past Labor Day weekend when San Diego-based Competitor Group, Inc., owners of the mega Rock `n` Roll Series of marathons and half-marathons, quietly — and controversially — shifted much of its near $1 million elite athlete program to further focus on its participation model.  Today, catalyzed by the CGI decision, Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. CEO Patrice Matamoros announced an expansion of Pittsburgh’s elite athlete support for 2014 with the launch of The American Development Program. Continue reading