UPDATE: Marathoner Who Ran for Tree of Life Victims Finishes!
He ran with an 11 pound vest, one pound for each victim of the synagogue massacre
Matt Scoletti ran his first-ever marathon at the Dick's Sporting Goods City of Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday with a respectable time of 4 hours, 37 minutes and 37 seconds.
But it's what Matt carried with him that made his run so remarkable.
He ran the 26.2 miles wearing a weighted vest, one pound for each of the victims of last October's Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood In his pocket: a piece of paper with the names of the victims ( click here to read Why Will This Marathoner Carry and Extra 11 Pounds? ). "My 11 pound weight vest honored the 11 amazing people we lost in that tragedy," he wrote on his Instagram page. "And after the horrific event, I felt all the love that this city still has for one another! LOVE CONQUERS ALL!"
At the end of the race, Alan Hausman, Vice-President of the Tree of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation was there to give him a hug (pictured above).
"What a moment as a Jewish man and Catholic man hugged for 60 seconds in a tight, love-filled embrace!" Matt Scoletti on Instagram
Scoletti's wife Stephanie and his family took position all around the marathon course to cheer him on.
"I was so blessed that my wife, my brother, my parents, my extended family, and so many friends cheered me on yesterday! The hugs from everyone at the end of the race were so memorable!"
" I am saluting to every other runner this weekend.. every single fan... all the volunteers... And I salute the Big Guy, God, and thank Him for allowing me to be physically ready to take on the toughest challenge of my life!!"
Matt trained for the race on the road and in the gym by wearing his 11-pound vest during his workouts (with Stephanie).
(Images: Matt Scoletti Instagram page )