Tonight at PNC Field, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Class AAA; International League) will combine two sports as they host Man vs. Marathon. As part of this unique promotion, runners will race against the clock in an effort to finish the race before the game against the Gwinnett Braves concludes.
In 2015, time clocks debuted in baseball as an attempt to keep the game rolling. If you are a frequent RailRiders fan, you would know that the games tend to run longer than most.
“Jokes are often made in the front office about how long our games were compared to marathons,” says Josh Olerud, RailRiders Chief Operating Officer, which is what inspired Friday’s event, “Man vs. Marathon.”
On Friday during the RailRiders game against the Gwinnett Braves, twelve teams composed of five runners each will compete to collaboratively run a marathon before the last out of the game.
“Runners are optimistic that they can finish before the last out,” said Olerud.
As soon as the first pitch is thrown at 7:05 p.m. the first leg of runners will take off at the Honda Homer Zone. Runners will proceed to run outside the field passing the administration office and box office. After passing the RailRiders clubhouse, runners will once again enter PNC Field through the Kost Party Pavilion gate where runners will be greeted by fans cheering them on. Now be able to catch a quick glimpse of the game, runners’ head back toward the starting line where they would have completed their first lap; each leg consists of three laps, which equals 1.26 miles per leg.
Each team paid a registration fee of $200 that went directly to Ryan’s Run 7, which is an endeavor sponsored by WNEP in support of Allied Services Integrated Health Systems. The RailRiders will also be holding a silent auction for the “Man vs. Marathon” jerseys (shown above) that they will sport during the game in support of Ryan’s Run 7.
“It’s a fun way to connect the strong, local running community, a great way to promote physical fitness, and show we support physical activity,” Olerud says.
Marathon runners won’t be the only excitement taking place at PNC Field this Friday. After the game fans can catch David “The Bullet” Smith being shot out of a cannon to home plate from centerfield, which is being presented by Pennsylvania Turnpike Operation Orange Squeeze, which will be followed by a spectacular firework display sponsored by Jack Williams Tire and Auto and Yokohma Tire.
For more on the promotion check out the above video.