An Open Letter to the Pittsburgh Running Community

A few weeks ago, we made a huge mistake.

For several hours, the Pittsburgh Marathon Instagram and Facebook stories included a photo of a Black female runner alongside a racial slur. Someone, along with the entire African American community, was hurt, and it was 100% our fault. Our mistake was inexcusable, and we are ashamed and so sorry.

We have always said that running unites us — it doesn’t matter your age, your sexual orientation, your ethnicity, how much money you make, what school you went to, what religion you practice, or who you voted for in the last election — everyone on a P3R race course is a runner first and foremost. Through that post, though, we failed to unite our runners, and we certainly didn’t live up to our mission to inspire any and all to run with us.

All of us at P3R understand the gravity of the situation, and we have addressed it seriously within our organization. While we know that we can’t undo the damage, we said we would do better, and here’s how we’re starting:

  • A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, with representatives from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and industries (including local sports and tourism; health, wellness, and recreation; the City of Pittsburgh; community organizations; educational institutions; the running and endurance industries; youth organizations; and diversity-focused groups);
  • Immediate and detailed diversity training for team members;
  • Partnerships with key community organizations, including RISE — the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, a national non-profit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice, and improve race relations; and
  • Commitment to hiring team members who reflect the communities we serve, as well as those we wish to serve.

This is just a beginning; we know that we have a lot of work to do. While we can’t promise that our organization will be perfect, we will promise all of you this: an unwavering commitment to ensuring that everyone feels welcome and safe not just at P3R races, but as members of the running community in Pittsburgh.


Troy Schooley