FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
Hosts First Wave Run in Turkmenistan
More than 150 Runners Including Ambassador Robert Patterson
Participated in Satellite Event on Sunday, March 17
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan - With temperatures in the 70s, over 150
participants, including Ambassador Robert Patterson, toed the starting line
of the U.S. Embassy Ashgabat Turkmenistan Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh
Marathon First Wave run on Sunday, March 17, 2013.
Presented by U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters Community Services and
American300, the 8K race and kid's fun run was the first for this capital
city, which is nestled up against the Kopetdag mountain range.
"Amateur runs and marathons have become a fixture in the U.S. sports
landscape, and we were enthused about sharing that aspect of American
culture with our friends in Turkmenistan," said Ambassador Patterson, a
native of Greensburg, PA and Ambassador to Turkmenistan since May 2011.
"This 8K is a great example of the potential sports has to bring people
Rob Powers, the official announcer of the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh
Marathon, led the event with Gunnery Sergeant Bruce Villasenor, Detachment
Commander, Marine Security Detachment U.S. Embassy Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
"We knew we'd get a great turn out from our resident Embassy staff members
and their families," Gunnery Sergeant Villasenor said. "When I saw one of
Turkmenistan's National Team Track and Field Master coaches show up, I knew
the day was going to be amazing."
Pennsylvanian Olympic record holder and gold medalist Dan Berry, a resident
of Valley Forge, joined Powers on the ONETEAM American300 Envoy trip. Beery
and Powers came here to promote friendship and cooperation through a joint
effort of the U.S. Embassy Turkmenistan and non-government agency (NGO)
called American300, a nonprofit that Powers started five years ago.
"Public diplomacy through sport was popular back in the 70's with our table
tennis team, and we've been finding out that it's every bit as popular
today," said Powers, who recruits athletes and others to support his
foundation's mission "It's all about putting great people together and
allowing friendships to form."
For the runners here today, friendship and mutual understanding was the
message. Of the more than 150 participants, more than 70 were locals and
another dozen were non-American foreign guests.
"Our Embassy team always has translators with us so we can connect with our
hosts," Berry said. "Today, I think we could have used around six more
specialists. There were a lot of people from a lot of different countries
on the start line."
With a live band, world-class dj and stadium-style sound system, the event
started at 11 a.m. The runners provided a recorded count down for the
30,000 runners who will run in Pittsburgh. Powers will present the
recording on race day as part of his race announcer duties.
Turkmenistan is hosting the 2017 Asia Indoor Games, which is under the
direction of the International Olympic Committees family of sports. The
envoy guests saw first hand the new Ashgabat Olympic Sports Complex.
For more information about American300, visit American300.org
Official Top Male and Female Finishers - U.S. Embassy Ashgabat Turkmenistan
Pittsburgh Marathon First Wave (8k Spirit Distance):
(Place, Name, Country, Time)
1. Keyik Weliyewa, Turkmenistan , 38:54
2. Aleks Zittle, USA, 39:03
3. Agata Slota, Turkmenistan, 41:04
(Place, Name, Country, Time)
1. Emin Esenow, Turkmenistan, 30:32
2. Temur Haybulin, Turkmenistan, 31:58
3. Zach Zittle, USA, 33:24
About the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh MarathonOrganized by the
Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., the Dick's Sporting Goods
Pittsburgh Marathon is a world-class event for runners across the globe.
The race ignites the spirit of Pittsburgh, spanning 13 neighborhoods and
boasting 9 festivals. The 2013 course will start and finish in Downtown
Pittsburgh on May 5, 2013. Before the 5th edition, the two-day GNC Live
Well Health & Fitness Expo will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention
Center on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. For more information, visit