On Sunday over 170 Brooklynites ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon to raise money for Sephardic Bikur Holim, a non profit mental health and social service agency dedicated to caring for people in need with compassion, discretion, and respect.
I was approached by several City Coach athletes who were volunteering their time to act as mentors for the runners, most of whom had never run a race before. They planned to run Disney as a fundraiser. The idea was the brainchild of Joe Benun, himself an SBH volunteer. Joe first reached out to me a couple of years ago and said that he wanted to do an Ironman. Since he was only 16 at the time, I advised that he wait until he was 18. Joe listened, and did Ironman Lake Placid in 11:57 just two days after his 18th birthday.
I met with the runners - mostly teens, but ranging in from age 14-61 - at SBH before their training began and the week before the race, and designed a training program for them. On race day, they runners all did a great job, with many of them exceeding their goals. More importantly, many of the new runners have "caught the fever" and will be sticking with the sport. And even better than that, they each raised thousands of dollars for a worthy cause. I'm glad that I was able to be a part of it, and I congratulate all of the runners.