Former Steelers Chris Hoke and Aaron Smith will chair the 24th Annual Gatorade/Steelers 5K Race, Fitness Walk and Kids’ Kickoff Run on Sunday, September 2, at 9 a.m. at Heinz Field. The race benefits the Art Rooney Scholarship Fund.
Hoke and Smith contributed to defenses that were consistently rated among the best in the league during their careers. They were key parts of Pittsburgh teams that won two Super Bowls and three AFC Championships.
Smith, originally a fourth round draft pick by the Steelers in 1999, played 13 seasons for Pittsburgh. He started 152 of 160 regular season games and all 13 postseason contests he participated in. Smith was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2005 after finishing the 2004 season with a career-high eight sacks. For his career, Smith registered 536 tackles, 44.0 sacks, seven forced fumbles, one interception and nine fumble recoveries.
Hoke earned his way onto the roster after being signed as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2001. He played in 127 games, including the postseason, during his 10-year career. Hoke finished his career with 80 tackles, two sacks and one fumble recovery.
Participants will gather on the quay at North Shore Riverfront Park outside Gate A with the start line on the riverwalk below the Fred Rogers statue. The course will follow the Three Rivers Heritage Trail to Heinz Street then to River Avenue, heading back to Heinz Field along General Robinson Street. Runners and walkers will continue to Art Rooney Avenue where they will enter the stadium at Gate 5 to cross the finish line at midfield on the warning track. To accommodate the anticipated large crowd, the race will employ a wave start.
Online registration, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, is available by visiting www.steelers.com. Paper applications are available by calling (412) 697-7713 or by emailing 5K@steelers.nfl.com. You can also download a printable application here.
Gatorade is the title sponsor of the race. Major sponsors include Giant Eagle, Dean Dairy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fuel Up to Play 60, Nike, KDKA-TV 2, WDVE-FM, ESPN Radio 970 and UPMC St. Margaret Sports Medicine Center.
The Art Rooney Scholarship Fund was established in memory of the late founder of the Steelers, who died in August of 1988 after living most of his life on the North Side. A $12,000 scholarship in Art Rooney’s name is presented annually to a graduating senior from each of the three high schools on the North Side — Oliver, Perry and North Catholic.