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The Road To 26.2

March 28, 2014 Leave a comment

**Writer’s note – This entry was typed on the night of Wednesday March, 26.**

 

It is 9:52 in the evening and I am still in my work clothes. Typically I am in my pj’s and in bed. But after the evening I had I am celebrating.

If you have followed this blog since 2011, you know I aspired to run in the NYC Marathon. But two hip surgeries since 2011, put those aspirations on hold.

Since undergoing two hip surgeries in 2011 and 2012, I never thought this day would come. Last December, as I prepared for my first Christmas without the use of crutches, I had the opportunity to register for the 2014 NYC Marathon lottery. Granted the lottery gave me a small glimmer of hope, but it was a chance I needed to take. I knew if I did not earn a spot through the lottery, I will have a shot by joining a charity.

On March 26, runners from all over the world waited for a response from marathon officials, myself included. I waited and waited. It got to the point where I periodically logged on to my G-Mail account. And while on the website, I would constantly hit “F5”. Imagine how one little entry can make one person anxious. I was anxious. I was nervous. I was on the edge.

My anxiety took me to new heights. My workout this evening was slow and painful. I meant that in a metaphorical way and not in a literal way.

The hours and minutes passed and up to that point no response from the New York Road Runners.

By the time I got home I logged on to my NYRR profile account. To no surprise I received my answer. I received the standard “Thank you for registering, but you did not earn a spot” line. Again I was not surprised but I was disappointed.

While I expected disappointment, I knew what I had to do. The next opportunity I had to gain an entry is through a charity.

Low and behold, I searched the list of charities participating in the marathon. Two stood out. One was for cancer research and the other was for military support. After thinking it over, I decided to join Fred’s Team. Fred’s Team is a charitable organization that raises money for Memorial Sloan Kettering and goes toward cancer research.

So here I am. I am raising money for cancer research. The moment to train starts now.

See you at the finish line, November 2.

To donate please click here — http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/FredsTeamEvents/Freds_Team?px=2669493&pg=personal&fr_id=2150

In the coming weeks and months I will blog about my journey and training. Let’s do this together.

 

New Year, New Me?

January 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Happy (belated) New Year’s. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.

So why did I title my blog entry as “New Year, New Me”? Well…for starters I entered the new year without the use of crutches. My medical history has prevented me from starting the new year healthy. Two hip surgeries later, I feel great.

And as I enter the new year pain free, 2014 will be a defining year for yours truly. In 2010, I was at my healthiest and strongest. Upon feeling healthy and vowing to never look back at my old 250+ pound self, I decided I wanted to run the NYC Marathon in 2012.

Fast forward to 2011, I felt my body breaking down. Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) was the cause to my malaise. My hips hurt. My confidence shattered. And my desire to run in the NYC Marathon in 2012 was in question.

Enter Dr. Bryan T. Kelly in the spring of 2011. His experience in arthroscopic hip surgery has been mentioned in this blog countless times over. But once again I must state, we approached this head on. One option given to me was to alter my activities. Running and working out has become a constant fixture in my life. While I stopped working out for six months at the discretion of Dr. Kelly, my confidence was not completely deflated. And my dream of running in the marathon was not dead. The dream was and to this very day remains ALIVE.

Two hip surgeries later I have never felt better. My hips no longer ache. The running path is clear. I am now running without worries or fear. Today I prepare for my toughest and most probably task, the NYC Marathon.

Training has not been kind to me. But I recently realized I was the one to blame. For instance my cardio lacked intensity. I became too complacent. The monotony of using the elliptical machine five days a week mentally drained me. On the first day of the month, I decided to mix my cardio. I re-included the use of the spin bike, the treadmill/running path, stair master, etc. It truly feels like 2010.

My goal between now and the NYC Marathon (November 2) is to mentally and physically prepare myself for the grueling 26.2 miles of fun. Yup fun.

The first item on my checklist is to lose the weight I gained from the two surgeries. In 2010, I weighed 150 pounds. Three years and 15 pounds later, I do not want to weight 150 pounds, but I sure as hell do not want to weigh 165 pounds. In the coming weeks, I plan on finding a personal trainer. I also plan on going for more runs. But of course that last item is contingent on the weather. I do not mind running in the cold, but when a “polar vortex” hits the area, my limbs mean more than a run in the park.

Is this really a “New Year, New Me”? The answer is simply “no”. For one I am not keen on resolutions. Secondly, I met my goals in 2009. And now that I am healthy, “it’s go time”.

Stay tuned. I will go through a lot of peeks and valleys.

 

Returning to My Old Self

April 14, 2013 4 comments

The last time I posted an entry I was two months removed from my second and final arthroscopic hip surgery. Since that last entry, a lot has happened in my recovery.

In February, I struggled. Setbacks was the norm. But I overcame those setbacks.

Since those setbacks I slowly returned to my old self.

On March 12, I saw Dr. Bryan Kelly for my three month post-op follow up. To no surprise they were content with my range of motion and quick recovery. The only difference this time around was the amount of atrophy I sustained in my left hip. Dr. Kelly acknowledged I need to build strength and muscle. It was also on that date where I was cleared to return to the gym and resume a limited running plan.

Life is  good.

Since that date I have returned to the gym. With the exception of physical therapy, I ran once on my own. If you follow this blog you know how much running means to me. Just last week I signed up for a 5K sponsored by the company I work for. I am ready. But since the event is a week from this Wednesday, I will participate with caution. My body is not where I want it to be.

Hopefully July, I will have the stamina and strength I desire.

It is only April and already I am planning for three to five running events this year. I am excited.

To avoid injury I am actually learning new stretching techniques. My lower body is tight. And the last thing I need is an injury. I am using tools such as the foam roller, balance board and even a towel. Since the two surgeries I learned how vital stretching is for the success and overall health for an active individual.

I look forward to what my running future holds. After all, all I ask is to run in one marathon. Once I begin and end that 26.2 journey, I plan on retiring from long distant running. I just need to get through this year and next year. My goal is to run the NYC Marathon in 2014.

I am looking forward to this journey.

Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Here I am almost one week removed from Hurricane Sandy. While this Superstorm cannot compare to the likes of Hurricane’s Andrew and Katrina, Sandy certainly rocked the foundation off of New York City and New Jersey. Never would I have imagined that a hurricane could travel with such ferocious velocity up north. This may be my ignorance but I have always associated hurricane’s as storms in warmer southern climate.

Never say never, I suppose. In the days after Sandy, New Yorkers and New Jerseyans have seen images of areas hard hit. From the devastation in Breezy Point, Queens to the destruction of my youth down the Jersey Shore. Those images will forever be etched in my head for a very long time.

Breezy Point, Queens lost 110 ten homes due to Hurricane Sandy. A six-alarm fire was reported in the area the night Sandy’s fury affected the metro area. Unfortunately due to flood waters, first responders were unable to get through to contain the fire. By 11 PM, the water had receded enough where responders can get to the fire. But at that point it was too late. The fire had quickly spread. And after hour the media speculated as to how many homes were engulfed. On Tuesday, it was discovered 110 homes were destroyed by the fire. As of this writing, there were no reports of casualties, just minor injuries.

Breezy Point, Queens/A Fire destroyed 110 Homes

New Jersey was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. If you lived along the coast, the area along the Jersey coast would be devastated. First there were reports that pieces of the Atlantic City boardwalk was ripped apart from the strong gusting winds. At that point, I thought the only damage the shore would sustain would be minor damage with pieces of the boardwalk ripped off. Unfortunately, on Tuesday, I saw aerial shots of Seaside Heights. I could not believe what I had witnessed. The mainstay of Seaside Heights was its amusement park along the boardwalk/pier which sat on top of the Atlantic Ocean.

Once Sandy had left the area, videos came in. The next image hit me hard. The roller coaster which sat above the ocean was now floating in the Atlantic Ocean. While the shore is associated as a summer destination, during the off peak months the area is inhabited with long time residents year round. Unfortunately, they were told that the shore area was severely affected and there was significant damage.

Seaside Heights

Seaside Heights, NJ – The site of where the amusement park used to be.

I am a lifelong New Jersey resident. And if you ask anyone who knows me well, they will tell you how passionate I am about my home state. New Jersey is part of my identity. I have a lot of pride. Whether I am supporting my beloved New Jersey Devils or driving along the New Jersey highways, I love my home state. While I do remember the Jersey Shore and its points from my youth, my heart completely crushed when I visited Hoboken yesterday.

It was a cool Saturday afternoon. I had just left the barber shop. Instead of heading straight home, I opted to walk into Hoboken for the first time in a week. I knew the town was hit hard. I have seen the news reports, and I do have friends who ultimately evacuated. But I wanted to see the damage.

The first thing I discovered as I walked through the Jersey City/Hoboken border were the puddles of water. But as I walked into Hoboken, I saw area residents draining water from their residence with a sump pump. I then smelled an odor that was not fresh. The water more than likely was sewage which seeped in during the storm. The flood waters caused many area residents to throw away many personal belongings. The image of piles of peoples lives crushed me. The area reminded me of  scene straight out of a movie.

Hoboken Debris

Hoboken Residents Cleaning Up in The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

As I walked further into town, I noticed how my frown was turning upside down. I noticed that residents were for the most part optimistic and upbeat despite the damage. Some were out and about walking their dogs. Others were helping their fellow neighbors. Merchants were providing residents with free hot meals. Outside of all the bad I have seen or heard about following Hurricane Sandy; I have seen the good in people following this storm.

A Local Merchant Giving Hamburgers to Hoboken Residents

A Local Merchant Giving Hamburgers to Hoboken Residents

There is still good left in this world. And I will pray for those who are displaced in the New York and New Jersey area.

This morning I visited my gym in New York City. The gym I frequent in Hoboken was temporarily closed due to damage from Sandy. Knowing that I traveled to the gym I visit during the week in NYC. After arriving in New York City, I noticed runners all over the area. For some reason I forgot today was Marathon Sunday. But due to the storm and overwhelming pressure, the City of New York decided to cancel the annual event.

As a runner, I was happy for the cancellation. But I do believe the cancellation was three days overdue. The city canceled the event on Friday, two days shy of the event. If you have followed me since day one, you all know my initial intention was to run in the 2012 event. But my hip condition forced me to delay my intention. Had I joined this years marathon class, I would have opted out. There was no way I could have participated in good conscience.

The starting line of the NYC Marathon began in Staten Island. One of the hard hit areas in the five boroughs of New York City was Staten Island. Not far from the start line, at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, are areas with no power. Bodies being found in homes. Residents were without food and warm shelter. That’s just some of the issues I had with the city and the New York Road Runners Club in the days after Sandy.

But after my workout, I walked to the finish line in Central Park. I discovered the athletes who traveled from near and afar came into Central Park and held their own run.

Runners Partaking in Their Own Race

Runners Partaking in Their Own Race in Central Park

 

While I commend each runner for doing so, I commend those who wore their running gear into Staten Island to volunteer and provide residents with hot meals and helped with the recovery.

I leave you with this…
– If you want to help with the recovery, please visit your local charitable organization and donate non-perishable foods, blankets, diapers, clothes, etc.

– To make a donation to the American Red Cross please visit their website.

– To make a donation to the American Red Cross through a text message please text REDCROSS “90999” to give a $10 donation.

– By phone you can call : 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

– In New Jersey an organization called the Ergo Group are mass producing special t-shirts with proceeds going to helping “Restore The Shore”. To buy the shirt please visit their website.

If there are non-profit organizations in the NY area who are producing merchandise with funds going to NYC, I will update the blog.

Please help.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Rock N Roll : New York 10K

October 13, 2012 2 comments

In what turned out to be a bitter sweet morning, I started and  completed my final race of the year. The Rock N Roll : New York 10K (RNR) was indeed my final race of the year but it was also my BEST race.

In the days leading up to the race I had one issue after another. Last week I sustained a minor injury that forced me to decrease my training. Last Sunday, I slipped hurrying down the escalator, while trying to catch my train. I landed on my butt and bruised the back of both knees. The injury was not too disconcerting but I acted cautious. Between Sunday and this morning’s race, I worked out two days. The back of my knees were sore and bruised. But the extra time away from the gym allowed me to rest the knees.

I woke up this morning with so much enthusiasm. At five this morning I got up out of bed, showered, dressed and stretched. While I am used to running a 10K on my own, the event was my first 10K and it was also my first race in cold conditions. The cold weather forced me to change my wardrobe. Instead of wearing running shorts, I wore sweat pants. I underestimated the wardrobe issue. Thus I live and learn.

My brother was kind enough to get up and drive me to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. In all of the races I participated I had a great support group. My biggest fans were the members of my family. Starting with my parents – they have provided me with all of the love and support. They have seen an overweight male with no athletic bone in his body, to a healthy male with a passion for running. Their love and support has been special. My siblings are the best. My older brother became my official photographer. His great photography in each race has been great. But most importantly, his decision to see me run will always stay in my heart. Luis you are a great man and a great brother. I couldn’t have done it without you. My brother and sister have always cheered me on even if they were unable to attend my races. They are great. I love them all. Thank you for the support.

My biggest fan, my father, was unable to see me race. I spoke with him yesterday and unfortunately he told me that he was unable to attend due to the flu. It hurt him to say that. But I really understood. His health was far more important than a race. On Facebook this morning, I dedicated my run to him. I know he wanted to be there. Dedicating the race to him was a no brainer. The medal I earned dad is half yours.

Preparing for the race

Preparing for the Rock N Roll 10K

My older brother, Luis, woke up early to drive me to Prospect Park. We left our residence in Jersey City around 6-ish. He was happy to drive me to the Park in Brooklyn and cheer me on. It’s the little things I that makes me happy.

Upon arriving in Brooklyn, our next step was finding parking. After a few minutes, finding a spot was not as bad as originally thought. We found a parking spot and began our way to the starting line. As the night sky made way for daybreak, the starting line was filling up with participants. Weeks before the event the organizers put participants in corrals (heats). Based off my submitted time, I was placed in the middle of the pack (Corral 6). Although RNR gave me an estimated completion time of one hour. After reading the estimated time, I had motivation to beat the time.

About 715 this morning, the organizers announced that each runner proceed to their assigned corral. I said good-bye to my brother and made my way to the corral. He wished me luck, hugged me and I proceeded to my corral. As we waited for 15 minutes, I was mentally preparing myself for this challenge. Music was blaring from the stage, music from iPod was blaring. My thoughts spread out. I stared to my left, then I stared to my right. I prepared my Garmin watch. I allowed my mind to wander as I mentally focused on what stood in my way.

Thousands of Runners Participated in the Annual RNR 10K

PreRace

After the national anthem was sung. Each corral started their race in intervals of one minute. It was our time to run. The minute the announcer counted down to 10, we were on our way. I started my Garmin watch and started my 6.2 mile journey. Weather wise I did not feel the cold weather. Adrenaline took over and started weaving other runners. Moving ahead was a great tactic.

The view at Prospect Park is similar to Central Park. I felt at ease. However, I did realize the park is not as steep as the loop in Central Park. But then again the RNR course was not a loop. Overall I enjoyed myself. I surpassed other runners. Other runners surpassed me. I saw runners of all types of races, sizes and athleticism. I even saw runners dressed in early Halloween costumes. Talk about a fun event.

After 3 miles, I was getting a bit winded. But I marched on. Prior to the race, I felt intimidated. All week I was fixated on the course map. I have done a 10K on my own around the Central Park loop. The map for the Prospect Park 10K seemed a bit too intimidating. Add on top of that, I asked other runners what was it like to run in Prospect Park. Needless to say, I received mixed reactions. With that said, my apprehension deepened. The only way I could ease that apprehension was to actually run the course.

Well here we are, 3 miles in and I feel a bit winded but great overall. For those wondering I had one song on my iPod playing on a constant loop. The song “So Jersey” by The Bouncing Souls played over and over along the course. I rocked out. And even at times I pointed in the sky when lead singer Greg Attino sings, “Don’t forget we’re all one family”. That line gives me the energy to continue.

After getting familiar with the streets of Prospect Park, we rounded for the home stretch. Breaking into a sweat, I knew I was getting close. The joy of completing was unbearable. For a moment I lost focus. I began to slow down, but immediately I regained my composure. Mile 5 soon turned into Mile 6. I was two tenths of a mile away from completing the race.

In the distance I saw the finish line. And similar to the Tunnel to Towers event, I began to speed up. That finish line was mine. And I could taste victory. For an instant I heard my heartbeat. 100 feet turned into 50 feet, which turned into 40 and so forth. I was closer to my ultimate goal. And just like that, I crossed the finish line.

I did it. Unofficially I completed the race 51:20. I set a new personal best. I was overcome with joy and emotion. Running on one good surgically repaired hip all summer long allowed me to do this. After stumbling a bit, I grabbed a bottle of water and two banana’s. I then received the best medal I have received to date.

Rock N Roll New York

I Ran 6.2 Miles For This Medal.

Three races have come and gone. From embarrassment, to patriotism and to redemption, I did it. I accomplished what I set out to do. One bad hip did not stop me from achieving this moment. While today’s Rock N Roll race was my last race for 2012, I am far from retired. I have more juice and energy to race more events. My ultimate goal is to conquer the NYC Marathon. I hope to get that opportunity in 2014. But for now I am enjoying this moment and preparing for my next surgery.

For those keeping score at home here are my final numbers:

– I completed the race in 51:16 (OFFICIALLY).

–  Out of 4171 runners, I finished 606th.

–  Out of 322 male runners between the ages of 30 and 34, I finished 91st.

–  Out of 1412 male runners (overall), I finished 419th.

– Pace : 8:15 (That’s a borderline pace. But it’ll do.)

I could not be happier and prouder. Thank you all for supporting. This is not the end…this is only the beginning. Stay tuned for more entries. Just because I will not run competitively until next summer, means I will give up on the blog. The fun is about to start.

Until next time…THANK YOU.

Jorge

 

Tunnel To Towers 5K Run

September 30, 2012 2 comments

It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I am hours removed from completing my second 5K run. The outcome of this run was dramatically better than my first run. I can actually say human error was not a factor. The course was straightforward. And all that stood in my way was the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel which spans 1.7 miles.

Start Line

I was one of 30,000 runners/walkers participating in the Tunnel To Towers

Unlike my first 5K all 30,000 runners started at the same time. Once Mayor Rudy Giuliani counted down from ten, we were on our way. As I mentioned all runners started at the same time. In most races runners are placed in heat positions. While I suspect the Tunnel and lower Manhattan cannot be closed for too long, I worried about accidentally bumping into someone. The fear of injury lingers. But I then thought an injury can happen at any moment. I continued.

As I approached the tunnel, I was not thinking much. I had my iPod blaring punk rock songs. In a way I was enjoying the view. After I crossed the toll booth, I entered the tunnel. Thankfully I am not claustrophobic. Running inside the tunnel felt weird. These are tunnels one is accustomed to going through via a bus or a vehicle. Plus I expected pollution to permeate the tunnel. My ignorance. I thank the city for ventilating the tunnel.

While inside the tunnel the air smelled like potpourri. Speakers were placed along the course. Music blared inside. While I had my iPod on, I cannot tell you what songs played. Sorry.

As I ran on the right side of the tunnel, I was then kindly directed to move to the left. I wondered why. But then I discovered some of the wounded first responders and veterans participating in the event. We truly take a lot for granted. And I honored them by thanking them.

In the distance I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I was in Manhattan. The tunnel felt a bit steep. I was slowing down. I felt winded. After exiting the tunnel to left were army cadets holding American flags, and to the right were 343 of New York’s Bravest, FDNY. They were holding banners in honor of the 343 FDNY members who perished on September 11, 2001. Their sacrifice is a MAJOR reason why I wanted to participate and raise money for first responders. I continued to run and in the distance was the under construction One World Trade Center (aka Freedom Tower).

I was overcome with goosebumps. The loud chants from the FDNY gave me my second wind. I ran with a purpose and proceeded to the right. I extended my hand they extended theirs. I thanked them for keeping us safe. They have a tireless job. But their job is not thankless. I proceeded to Lower Manhattan via the West Side Highway. When I ventured through the highway who do I happen to see? My father and brother.

Jorge Running

I found my brother and father along the West Side Highway. Very Memorable.

As I honored the FDNY (pictured behind me), I was touched and excited to see my father and brother along the route. I will never forget that moment. While I wanted to stop and take pictures, I am very competitive. I had to run. So I did the next best thing, I gave them a cheesy pose. I love it.

I moved on along the waterfront Esplanade heading a few blocks north. We runners were greeted to music by a high school marching band and local residents clapping and cheering.

Running along the Esplanade for a few more minutes, we headed east toward the West Side Highway. In the distance were local residents and tourists cheering. FDNY and NYPD were there to provide support. I spotted the Finish line. At this point I ran on all cylinders. Picture Rocky running up the steps as he trained for his fight with Apollo Creed. Yup, that was me. I drowned the music and heard the spectators cheering me on. Awe inspiring.

I crossed the finish line. After 25:43 (unofficially) I was elated and proud of what just happened.

The party was getting started. The event sponsors provided runners with samples of great products and fruits. The organizers provided food and a concert from the “Lt. Dan Band”. The band is fronted by actor, Gary Sinise. Obviously the band name was inspired by Sinise’s character from Forrest Gump. Sinise travels with his band in hopes of raising money for his foundation and the Tunnel To Towers Foundation. Their hopes is to raise money for wounded veterans. Very noble.

Lastly, this sandcastle was the go to area for everyone. Enjoy.

Sand Castle

This was the go to spot for every runner, and supporter.

For the record my Garmin watch did not provide me with accurate GPS information. Apparently, I lost a signal while running inside the tunnel. The watch, however, provide my accurate time. Major points.

To those who donated to the cause, I sincerely thank you. Let’s do it again next year.

My Next 5K

September 29, 2012 2 comments

You : Where have you been?

Me : What do you mean?

You : You have been M.I.A. since your first 5K. You have a lot of explaining to do.

Me : *sighs* You are right. I do have a lot of explaining to do. Where do I start.

***Flashback Sequence***

Two days after the Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium, I discovered that I did not finish the race. I refuse to point fingers, but in actuality I am to blame. The course was not your typical 5K (or 3.1 Mile) race. To complete the 5K a participant had to run the through certain levels around Yankee Stadium more than once. While I started the race a bit too eager, I ultimately made up my time. But as I neared the end of the race, I had to run from the Grandstand Level to the main level through their ramp. As I approached the main level I noticed a fork in the road. At the center of the course stood a sign. The left side said, “Finish” while the right said something that I still cannot make sense of.

Now I am not saying the organizers or volunteers are to blame. I blame myself because I was focused on the finish line. And instead of asking I crossed the finish line. I bet you are asking yourself, “Yeah so what?” Well it turned out the sign I could not make out was to tell me that I had to run through that portion again. Once I completed that portion a second time, then, I can cross the finish line.
Unfortunately, I prematurely crossed the finish line. I received a medal that I did not deserve. While the medal was nice to receive, I have yet to leave it out for others to view. My goal this year was to run the event as a competitor and participate in the same event for fun next year. Well after receiving a “DNF” (Did Not Finish), I am too embarrassed and proud to allow that to happen. I have come too far to allow that to happen.

With that I am putting the Damon Runyon 5K on notice for 2013. Watch out Yankee Stadium, Jorge will redeem himself.

With that embarrassment out of the way, I can now discuss my next race. Tomorrow morning, I am participating in the 11th Annual Tunnel to Towers 5K race. I am excited and elated about participating in this wonderful event. Last year, while unable to run due to femoroacetabular impingement, the area’s local CBS affiliate (WCBS) aired the event from beginning to end. As media partners WCBS interviewed participants, first responders and everyone in between. I vowed to myself on that rainy, overcast September morning to run the event in 2012. I never imagined to myself that I would actually run the event one year later. Despite discomfort in my left hip, I am very passionate about selecting running events.

The Tunnel to Towers event is one of those events I am passionate about. Now in its 11th year, the organizers dedicated the event to Stephen Siller. Stephen Siller was a member of New York’s Bravest. He was a member of the FDNY brotherhood. On September 11, 2001, Stephen had just ended the late shift. While  heading to meet up with his brothers for a game of golf, he heard on his police scanner that a plane hit the World Trade Center.

Upon hearing the news, he returned back to the firehouse and picked up his gear. Heading to Lower Manhattan proved to be a big obstacle. The city closed the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel among the other local bridges and tunnels. He picked up his gear, which totaled close to 60 pounds, and ran to Lower Manhattan via the tunnel. Sadly, that was the last time he was seen or heard of. He became one of the many first responders who gave up their lives to save the lives of others.

His memory continues to live today. And because of that he has been immortalized with this 5K run from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Lower Manhattan. I am running to honor the memory of the many first responders who give their lives each and every day to help keep us free and safe.

I am ready for the race. I am ready for the challenge. But as I run I will honor those who keep us safe.

If any first responders are reading this blog entry, this is for you.

I thank you.

Tunnel To Towers Bib

Bib # 14864 (ie Me) is ready

Until next time, hopefully tomorrow. See ya. Wish me luck.