Giving Back is What Makes Road Racing Special

Two of what are, at least to me, our most special races, were held during the month just past.

On Sunday evening, June 2nd, we staged the National Cancer Survivors Day Belmont Stakes 5K Run. Many of the participants in this race are not our “usual” runners, but have been attracted to the event because they or members of their immediate family are cancer survivors. The finish line on the racetrack is an unusual twist and everyone really seems to enjoy the Run/Walk. This is not an easy event to stage, and this year was complicated by the fact that NYRA added a tenth race to the end of their horse racing day, as well as by the uncertain weather. (Uncertain weather always seems to be a feature of this event!)

Four days later, at Eisenhower Park we staged the David Lerner Associates Long Island Police Appreciation Run. It’s great to see how many of the members of the Nassau, Suffolk and NYPD Running Clubs were on hand to support the Run. It seems like deserving requests for donations from the Police Crisis Foundation that the Run finances are increasing in the last couple of years, and this Run is the only way we can handle them. Remember folks- road racing here on Long Island would be impossible without the support of our Police. More to the point, the officers of our local police forces are dedicated, effective....and pretty much underpaid. They deserve everyone’s support.

At least as gratifying as those two events was the trip that Sue Fitzpatrick and I took to Amityville a few weeks ago to witness the graduation ceremony for The Opening Word Program. This Program is the beneficiary of two of our races – the Runner’s Edge Long Island Women’s Run this month and the Gold Coast Studios/ Steel Equities HoHoHo 5K in December. The Program teaches the English language and job readiness skills to immigrant women on Long Island, a population which is often underserved, undereducated, and/or underemployed. It is amazing to see first hand the results that the Program has achieved. Even more impressive is the number of women that the Program has helped to become U.S. Citizens.

Looking ahead to an event that really deserves everyone’s support is the October 27th Catholic Health Services Suffolk County Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K. In addition to being perhaps the best racing value around, last year – thanks to your help – we raised almost $200,000 that was spread amongst several veterans support agencies. This year’s Suffolk event is dedicated to the men and women who served our country in World War II, with specific reference to the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. You are going to LOVE this year’s finisher’s medal, which is consistent with the World War II theme!

See you on the roads and trails...and at all the great races that take place on Long Island!