PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Like 4,500 others, Matt Scoletti will be attempting the full 26.2 miles of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday but unlike those others, he’ll have an extra impediment.
“The 11-pound weight vest just goes over my head and I make sure the weight is evenly distributed so my back feels okay,” Scoletti said.
On Sunday, Matt will be wearing this eleven pound vest, one pound for each of the fatal victims of the Tree Of Life massacre. Adorned on the front and back with message that “Love Conquers Hate,” Matt will be carrying that message through the streets of Pittsburgh.
“Love conquers all really and I think that hate can win in the short term when something like this happens but love is always going to win love the long haul,” he said.
Scoletti is a physical fitness enthusiast who’s competed in triathlons, obstacle course racing and even a 24-hour bike ride.
“This is my first marathon,” Scoletti said.
A first-time marathon is a challenge for anyone but the added eleven pounds could make it a torment.
“That’s exactly right after about 4 or 5 miles, I can feel the weight on my shoulders, I can feel it in my legs and it gets to be much more difficult in the later miles,” Scoletti admitted.
But along the way Scoletti will carry a list of each of the eleven victims in his pocket.
“When that moment happens and I get fatigued and feeling a lot of pain, I’m just going to pull out that list and just remember why I’m doing this marathon to just push me through to the end.”