The air smelled of anticipation as over 20,000 runners were prepping for the Pittsburgh Marathon at dawn on Sunday, May 1st. The streets were electric with activity: hundreds of paper cups being filled with Gatorade, circus troupes of runners stretching in every direction, and dance music blasting at full volume. The weather must have felt the same, as the clouds sat heavy in the sky, waiting for the right opportunity to lighten their load. Among all the participants were 2 marathon relay teams made up of ten runners, nine of which from Protiviti. Team Protiviti included Tim Maloney, Matt Dunn, Zach Zeno, Jim Lukas, and Sam Vais. Team i on Hunger included Angela DeFrank, Eujin Kwak, Zach Weber, Dylan Flaherty, and Jeff Weber. The teams were each challenged to run the 26.2 miles and raise $1,000 for Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
This year’s event was the seventh year the Pittsburgh office organized a team to participate in the marathon relay. After participating as a relay stop volunteer, Tim Maloney gathered fellow running enthusiasts to field a team the following year. “Nada es fácil. Todo es difícil.”, meaning “Nothing is easy. Everything is difficult,” was printed on the first year’s racing shirts commemorating a favorite statement made frequently by Jeff Weber. In the sixth year, they began participating in the Run for a Reason campaign, which supported the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and related to Protiviti’s i on Hunger initiative. This year was particularly special as the first year that included participants from three other Protiviti offices: Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
As the starting gun went off and runners poured through the starting gate, the clouds felt like doing the same. Even with the rain, Tim and Angela gunned through the first leg of the relay neck and neck at just over 8 minutes per mile. The race would stay close until the fourth leg where Zach Weber’s friend, Dylan (a clear ringer) took charge of Team i on Hunger to clock sub-8 minute miles for the longest leg of the relay and led an unquestionable victory. Despite the competition, the only feelings that remained were camaraderie with colleagues, euphoria of a completed run, and a little joint pain.