As Marathon Nears, Outgoing CEO Patrice Matamoros Reflects On 10 Years Building Pgh's Biggest Race

Apr 29, 2019

From humble beginnings — there wasn't even a marathon in Pittsburgh in 2008 — CEO and race director Patrice Matamoros says she put her whole heart into building the engine behind today's Pittsburgh marathon. Festivities this weekend will be her final lap.  

Matamoros estimates about 40,000 runners and a quarter of a million spectators will flood the city for marathon events Friday through Sunday, including fun runs, half marathon and marathon competitions. For the second year in a row, the half marathon course is also a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic trials. 

Foster Tarver was released from prison last summer. He searched for housing for eight months before finding a landlord who would rent to him.
Credit An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers have learned to embrace the marathon despite the traffic and inconvenience, she says, and appreciate it as the only sporting event where “you can open up your front door and see world-class athletes passing by.”

She spoke with The Confluence’s Megan Harris about this year’s event and the evolution of the running community in Pittsburgh.

Later in the program:

The Pittsburgh Project educates young people pursuing careers in the trades while also helping them forge life skills. They offer educational programs and academic help, as well as a space for young people to engage in the creative process and explore their passions. 90.5 WESA’s Brian Cook reports on how the organization works to help local youth become well rounded citizens. 

And in 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that juveniles sentenced to life without parole must have a chance at release. But 90.5 WESA’s An-Li Herring reports that some "juvenile lifers" who got out say society wasn’t ready for them, and they were not ready for society. Joining The Confluence for a conversation about juveniles once sentenced to life now coming back home are:

  • Foster Tarver, a paralegal at Farrell, Reisinger & Comber; he was sentenced to life without parole when he was 18 and spent 49 years in prison;
  • Ricky Olds, a student at the Community College of Allegheny County studying social work; he was sentenced in 1979 at age 14 and spent 38 years in prison;
  • Tom Farrell, a criminal defense attorney and partner at Farrell, Reisinger & Comber, the firm that now employs Foster Tarver; and
  • Lou Gentile, president and CEO of Corporate Security Investigations and former director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Narcotics, who assisted Foster Tarver with his re-entry.

Olds says he hopes to see  parolees included in the work to provide resources to newly released prisoners. Available resources are misdirected, according to Olds, an issue he says can be solved by educating non-parolees about the experiences of people like him. 

90.5 WESA's Julia Zenkevich and Meg Fair contributed to this program.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.