LONG ISLAND, NY – (May 4, 2014) Almost 100 runners toed the Start Line at today’s Long Island Marathon in support of the Companions in Courage Foundation. The event helped raise thousands for the pediatric patients who benefit from the work of the CiC Foundation.
For the 10th straight year, Doreen and Bill Isenberg served as hosts for Team COURAGE under the ‘big top” set up near the Finish Line in Eisenhower Park. They filled the tent with bagels, juice and power bars to ensure that all of the runners had plenty of energy to complete their run.
With weather in the northeast being so poor this spring, many of the runners shared pre-race complaints that they hadn’t been able to get their full training in prior to the event. Jim Johnson, executive director of the CiC Foundation, spoke for many when he said in pre-race comments, “I’ve been ‘tapering’ for 350 days in preparation for today’s run.”
Pat LaFontaine told every runner that the event would be “an easy day,’ compared to what families with pediatric patients go through every day. He also dedicated the race to Frankie Pitti, a long-time friend of the CiC Foundation and frequent visitor to the Lion’s Den Room at Cohen Children’s Hospital. The 16-year-old passed away in December, but his spirit was very much on display on Marathon Sunday. His mom, Jen Howard, and several other runners used black markers to write, “4 Frankie” on their abs.
The Isenbergs made things easy for Team COURAGE by picking up all of the runner’s numbers and race swag at the Race Expo the day prior to the event. Runners pinned on their bibs, re-tied their shoe laces and headed out to the Start Line located behind Nassau Coliseum.
The sunny morning gave way to blustery conditions and dark clouds. A few intrepid souls for Team COURAGE ran the full marathon, with most opting for the half marathon or the 10K race. LaFontaine ran the 10K and heard shout-outs from fans who recognized him as he made his way down Old Country Road and on to Salisbury Park Drive.
He said, “We are extremely grateful to Bill, Doreen and their family for pulling this all together for the last decade! The Long Island Marathon generates a lot of money in donations, but the awareness for CiC that is created cannot even be measured.” Joe DeSabato of Sewhanaka High School once again led all individual fundraisers for the event.
John Ward provided inspirational tunes throughout the day and his video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb407uBepSc captured the essence of what the day was all about.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, hero sandwiches, adult beverages and perhaps most importantly, three massage tables, awaited the runners as they made their way back to the CiC tent. Monica, Julie and Seth volunteered their incredible talents as they manned each table and helped the runners recover.
The wind continued to rip through the tent and by noon, a gust came and lifted the tent poles right off the ground. Bill Isenberg made the executive call to take the tent down (before it blew down!) and the 10th annual Team Courage event came to a close. But there was one more piece of business that Isenberg wanted to complete. He grabbed a large helium-filled CiC Foundation balloon and sent it skyward. He said, “I just want to make sure that Frankie knows he was in our thoughts and hearts all day today.” This is going up to him.
Donations in support of the run are still being accepted at www.active.com/donate/LIMarathon14.