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Essential Pittsburgh: 'Kids Of Steel' Makes Race Day 2015 Accessible For All Ages

Chuck LeClaire
Kids of Steel runners cross the finish line of the mile-long kids marathon downtown.

This Saturday is the Pittsburgh marathon. In addition to thousands of adults running and walking many children will be running their “final mile” as part of the 2015 Kids of Steel Program. Promoting healthy exercise and nutrition habits in younger runners are Patrice Matamoros, CEO of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, and Michele Nichols, program director for Kids of Steel. (Starts at 20:20)

Matamoros explains that Kids of Steel grew out of the Pittsburgh Marathon's desire to see kids grow up with an early discovery of running as a sport:

"The American Medical Association was starting to say that kids of this generation were going to have a shorter life span than their parents...We certainly didn't want to leave them out and watch their parents and their guardians getting healthier and watching the kids' health not making improvements." -Patrice Matamoros

Also on the program, Dr. Ron Roth, Pittsburgh Marathon medical director and emergency medicine physician joins Dr. Kelley Anderson, overseer of elite runners, to instruct marathon runners on how to stay healthy in Sunday's predicted high heat. Emily Gordon is a biochemistry major at UCLA who won her very first marathon and has already qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials. 

Readiness For Race-Day Weather (starts at 0:00)

How does the weather impact personal performance? Medical Director of the Pittsburgh Marathon Dr. Ron Roth  and sports medicine physician Dr. Kelley Anderson advise marathon runners on the 80 degree temperatures predicted for Sunday's race, and how high heat affects performance goals. They'll also explain why it's important for runners to keep the weather in mind when dressing on race day. 

Elite Women Contenders: Emily Gordon (starts at 33:53)

22-year-old Emily Gordon still hopes to have a career in biochemistry, but she may wait until after a stint at the Olympic games. In 2013, Emily won the first marathon she ever ran, the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco, and she's already qualified for the 2016 Olympic trials. She joins us to discuss what it's like to transition so quickly to elite marathon training, and what motivates her as a runner. 

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be found here.

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