By Arthur H. Gunther III
New York City — With the April Boston Marathon bombings still pulling at the heartstrings of runners everywhere, some 45,000 of them rallied Sunday in indomitable spirit in the resumed New York City event, canceled last year in the lingering dark clouds of Superstorm Sandy.
My son, Arthur 4th, was among the participants, and we are proud to say that he finished 134, 114 in his gender, 17 in his age group (40-44), with a 2:43:14 time in 26.2 miles. Awfully good, considering a headwind for the first several miles and those hills in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And the fact that he ran past his mother’s early childhood home in Bensonhurst, my mother’s birthplace in DUMBO and my great-great-grandparent’s home in Yorkville’s “Little Germany,” well that covers a lot of family history.
But my son would leave the applause to others, as humble as he is, and which makes him a great man, father, husband, teacher. From the time he began running with Coach Bob Hudson in the Tappan Zee schools, he has always been there for teammates, and they for him.
This race certainly was about team spirit, though runners, of course, are individual sorts. But this year, following the tragedy in Boston, knowing that so many remain displaced by Superstorm Sandy, and in a nation where, frankly, government cannot seem to get to the finish line, it is most reassuring to see that some people at least will not let themselves become dispirited by the nation, by the world, too.
Perhaps it should be a requirement for public office that one complete a marathon, even on foot, so as to know what team spirit, what individual drive means and can achieve.
The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Any or all of this essay may be reproduced.