In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there were no places on the internet more divisive than the Twitter, Facebook and blog feeds of runners who saw a barrage of opinions on the pending running or cancellation of the New York Marathon earlier this month.
There were the race-registered runners who thought it best not to run with so many locals without homes, power or who grieved with the loss of loved ones. There were also the racers who who thought it best to carry on in honor of the same victims - as a tribute to the tenacity of New Yorkers.
The sun sets behind the scoreboard of my hometown Benedictine University track and the day slowly loses what mid-summer light it has left. The stadium bleachers are empty and, seemingly, I’m the only one on earth grinding out mile repeats.
Dathan Ritzenhein is there. So is Galen Rupp. And Ashton Eaton, too. At least in spirit.
These are a few of the more memorable runners I saw compete at June’s U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon - the winners who qualified for a chance to compete in London this past week.
So there was this other life. The one before my official ‘running life’ began – the first 24 years when I was an elite hockey player in juniors, college and professional ranks. And the one that eventually ended in shattered NHL dreams, a bruised ego and more combined injuries than I could count on four hands.