Running on empty (for full stomachs)

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First Posted: 11/12/2014

A few years ago, a young man walked into Scranton Running Company on a mission.


Seth Einterz was a recent college graduate from Indiana in Scranton on a Jesuit mission trip for the summer when he walked into the running store looking for a partner with whom to run.

“Seth came in and said he wanted someone to go running with, so I started running with him because running is my passion. I had a good time running with Seth. He was a great kid,” said Matt Byrne, co-founder of Scranton Running Company, West Olive St., Scranton.

While running together, Byrne bonded with Einterz, as one generally does with a running partner, where Byrne discovered the Indiana-native was assigned to work St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen in Scranton while on his mission and Einterz learned running was a lifestyle for Byrne.

“I started running track and field and cross-country at Scranton High School. It was a great outlet to compete. When you do something for so long, it becomes a lifestyle. So, for me, running became a way of life. I mean, people love working out together. When you bring people together, it only makes sense to find a common goal to help improve the quality of the community you work and raise your family in. That’s why now I not only run, but I organize running events that serve as fundraisers. Running events and charities go hand in hand,” Bryne said.

Before Einterz left at the end of the summer, he shared a goal of his own with Byrne.

“Seth loved working at St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen and was affected by the people he saw there every day. Before he left Scranton, he told me that he would love to see a run nebefiting the mission of the soup kitchen,” Byrne recalled.

The next year, Byrne followed through with the suggestion.

“I started the Run Against Hunger the next year to benefit the soup kitchen. I decided to start it around Thanksgiving. I thought that would be a fitting time when people could really benefit from it,” Byrne said.

When the run started in 2012, the event attracted approximately 200 runners and raised $5,000. The following year added an extra 100 runners and a total of $8,000 raised.

“This year, we are expecting 500 runners and hoping to raise $15,000,” Byrne said.

The 2014 Run Against Hunger is set to take place 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 at the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Trail in Scranton. A family-friendly event, participants will be able to choose from a two-mile walk, 5k or 10k run.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the run and costs $35. Children under ten are invited to participate for free.

A variety of soups from St. Francis of Assisi soup kitchen will be served after the race while awards are presented and raffles are chanced off.

Runners and spectators are encouraged to bring canned goods — especially peanut butter and jelly jars, the biggest need for the kitchen at the moment — and other food items to donate at the event. Weekender will set up a table accepting donations. Free give aways wil be handed out to those who donate food items.

More information on how to help St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen can be found online at