Everyday Heroes

Why Will This Marathoner Carry an Extra 11 Pounds?

The emotional reason he's running the Pittsburgh Marathon wearing an 11-pound vest

Matt Scoletti is a physical fitness enthusiast and motivational speaker. He's competed in triathlons. He set a world record in 2016 by lifting a million pounds in less than 9 hours and rode a bike for 24 hours for charity. So it's no surprise to hear he's taking on a marathon. What might surprise you is how he plans to run the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday.

Matt will be wearing an eleven pound vest.

The amount of extra weight Matt has chosen to carry isn't by accident. Each pound is meant to represent one of the 11 people who died in the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood last October 27. "Hate can win in the short term when something like this happens but love is always going to win the long haul," Matt told KDKA-TV's Andy Sheehan in explaining the symbolism of his run .

On Instagram with photographer Jim Cahalan and reporter Andy Sheehan.

Believe it or not, this is Matt's first marathon. He's trained with the vest, but he's still a little nervous about what strapping on an extra 11 pounds will mean over 26.2 miles. "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 to Andy, who is himself a marathoner.

Matt has trained with the vest.

But he'll carry a talisman that he says will help him get through any difficulty: a list with the names 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."

(Images: Matt Scoletti Instagram page )

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