Today I had the honor to run in the first annual WTC Run to Remember, which benefitted the 9/11 victims. It was a 5K race (3.1 miles) around Governor's Island, and I asked many of my friends and relatives to sponsor my run, which many did very generously.
I took the ferry from the Battery to Governor's Island, and it was the first time I had ever been on the island. Nearly 1,000 other runners came over to take part as well. I had a running bib that had my friend Joyce's name on it and that I was running in her memory. (I also had a photo of her attached to my shirt.) Many people had names of their loved ones, and some were running in memory of all the 9/11 victims.
I got to the island early and got ready for the run, which was originally scheduled for 11 AM. It was pushed back 40 minutes to accomodate many other runners who were coming over on a later ferry. The Star Spangled Banner was sung and the race began, and I started in the back, as I wasn't planning on winning it!
Governor's Island has some absolutely beautiful views of New York, New Jersey and the Statue of Liberty, so it was a lovely race to run. But I haven't run in a while, and shortly after the race began, my right shoulder began aching. But I drove on, and the course circled a good part of the island.
I was hoping to run the course in 30 minutes, but at the 1 mile point, my time was just under 11 minutes, so I figured that wasn't a possibility. It wasn't much higher at the 2 mile point, so I just pushed myself harder and harder to finish.
Over 600 folks completed the course (many others were running in a 3K "Fun Race"), and I clocked in at 33:42. Not too bad, and I finished in 490th place. When I crossed the finish line, there was an announcer who said everyone's name who finished (off a computer) and he also said my friend's name along with mine. Very nice. My legs were really wobbly, but I was really thrilled to finish, and accept the cheers of those who were rooting us on throughout the race. (I'll see if I can top that number in the 5K "Tunnel to Towers Run", which I am taking part in on September 27.)
Afterwards, there was an awards ceremony for those best times in many different categories. They also acknowledged the top 10 people who raised the most money, and as it turns out, I finished in fifth place overall. I was very touched to receive the applause of those present, and I was awarded two tickets to the Mets-Braves game at Citi Field on September 21, as the Mets had graciously donated tickets to the race. (There was also three massage therapists there for the runners as well, and that did make me feel better after it was over.)
Overall, it was a wonderful day. As I write this, my back aches and my legs feel like jello, but I am really thrilled to have helped out the 9/11 families, especially The Voices of September 11th, who I was specifically running for. BTW, I will still be accepting donations until next Sunday, September 13th. If you'd like to send something, please go to this link.
Once again, a million thanks to all of you who sponsored me and made the day such a success. I'll never forget your kindness and generosity.