Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 in 2012: Sandy Relief Challenge - Day 5

The fundraising link!

Miles to run as of beginning of Sunday, 11/11: 330.69

Miles run on Sunday, 11/11: 7.63

Today was yet another day of action. I met with another group of runners dressed in orange to go to Staten Island and help clean up, much as we did last week. This week, I told Amortya to come along and he did. He was a really good sport about the whole thing considering I forgot to tell him about the fact that we'd be running to our destination.

Amortya just found out he'd be running 8 miles. In jeans.
We hopped on the ferry and made our way over. This time around, it took a lot less confused organizing and planning before we had a pretty good sense of what everyone would be doing. Half of the group went to Midland Beach and half went to Oakwood. The Midland crowd had a 6 mile run while the Oakwood group had closer to 8 miles to run.

Lady Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry

Getting ready to head out on the run

The run wasn't terrible. We stuck with the Midland group for the first five or so miles. During this time, I met and was able to chat with someone who's also doing the 60k next weekend. I forgot to exchange email addresses with her, but hopefully I'll run into her next weekend. Also, Tom Cavanagh was on the run with us though no one knew exactly who he was until well after the two groups had split up. Also, also, I got to meet and talk to a number of runners from Terrier Tri, which is a triathlon club here in the city.

Once we arrived in Oakwood, we headed down to the Guyon Avenue Rescue, which was based in the local VFW. Our first task was to canvass residents living in the area to make sure that they had everything they needed. For the most part, they did. But there was a lot of anger about the fact that they didn't have power back yet. Completely justified, since it's been two weeks and getting really cold.

Canvassing the neighborhood
We began walking back to the VFW when we encountered an elderly gentleman heading the same way. We learned that he needed some help clearing debris out from his yard, so we grabbed supplies and walked back toward his house. We'd also gotten a request to deliver a meal on the same street, which I volunteered to do. Wouldn't you know that the "house" I was supposed to deliver to was an apartment complex? I had to knock and ring doorbells just to ask where the recipient lived. I had some success, but it was 20-30 minutes before I returned to Frank's house to help out.

Frank wondered why it took the marathon to bring everyone together. Good question, Frank.
Our last assignment was to help a number of residents on one particular street clear branches out from behind their houses. The yard was probably knee high with this debris and it took about 20 people to really make a dent in clearing it.

This was the toughest task of the day
We called it a day after clearing most (but not all) of the branches away. Morty and I walked back and found my friend Vicky, who also volunteered. We all headed back to the city and had a delicious dinner.

On the Staten Island train
Miles to run as of the beginning of Monday, 11/12: 323.06

Also, happy Veterans' Day to all who risk their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day!

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