There is such a thing as angels. I know, because I saw them out on the Fred Lebow Half Marathon this past Sunday shivering in frigid weather with a nasty wind-chill factor. And they weren’t even running – they were standing for more than an hour, cheering! Team for Kids alumni - a drum roll please for: Bruce Stark, Joe Kalinsky, Ravi Adityan, Jenny Maes, Laura Summerhill, Jerry Schelzo, and Vasque Alvarao - were on the course right around 81st street where we meet for marathon practice, with a sign, and bells and whistles, to support their TFK teammates and coaches. We were so bundled up I don’t know how they recognized us for shout-outs but they did. When I saw the homemade TFK sign I couldn’t believe my eyes and then Bruce recognized me from the tiny opening in my facemask and gave me a well-needed TFK greeting that warmed my core.
I was overwhelmed with gratitude and pride. But that’s what you get when you join the TFK family – unconditional love from people who understand why we got out of a warm bed in the dark to face the freeze; who know what it felt like when we went numb in our hands and toes; and showed up anyway with signs, hot chocolate, and warm smiles because they get it – they understand the commitment, the drive, the passion of runners. And they understand what it means to be part of a team and come out to support their teammates even in a polar vortex. So yes, I have seen angels – and they wear TFK Green!
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg