Banana counting, conference calls with Homeland Security, working with local Churches that are on the Marathon route about transporting parishioners for their services on race day…. All in a day’s work for Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Race Director, Patrice Matamoros. Work that has paid off in a big way. Under her tenure, the race has steadily grown into a premier Community and Sporting event with 2012 slated to have the largest combined number of runner’s to-date.
But the road to this point was a little bumpy…When she was planning the inaugural race in 2009 after its four-year hiatus, as a one-man show and using her personal credit card to fund the event, it was hard for her to conceive that it would take off so quickly again and reap so much benefit for the local Pittsburgh Community. But she had a vision and a personal goal to fulfill the wishes of long-time board member, Michelle Fetting, who recruited her for the position after Michelle became ill with Cancer and was no longer able to work to bring back the event.
Patrice’s vision was to make it much more than just a race, but an asset to the Pittsburgh Community, a notion that was sometimes hard for City officials and others to see, but has definitely paid off as she took the organization from no sponsors, runners or staff to an organization that now has 8 full-time staff, 3,500 volunteers and 20,000 plus runners, including a competitive elite field and a weekend of events that include a Kid’s Marathon, a Community 5K and over ninety Neighborhood festivals. Patrice has leveraged her 10 years of fund-raising experience to raise more than 2 million for local charities and her Corporate background to create a winning business model for the City. A 2010 Economic Impact study showed that the 2010 Marathon generated an estimated 8.2 million on direct spending for the regional economy.
Patrice is a dynamic leader who receives her inspiration through the stories of the runners and charities that the race has had a positive impact on, but her soft side can’t always prevail when working across many different sectors, so she knows how to pull out all of the stops to pull-off an event of this magnitude. Her story would make a great local business leader profile and serve as a model for how to grow and expand an event into a Community asset.