RUNNERS GATHER AROUND A PIECE OF THE WORD TRADE
CENTER AS VICTIMS’ NAMES ARE READ.
BOB BOTH/JSRC PHOTO

Runners Reflect on 9/11 Tragedy at Unique Remembrance Race

BY JIM ROBBINS

BELMAR, NJ--In keeping with our nation’s myriad demonstrations of solemn tribute to the victims of September 11, 2001, locally over 300 runners, with hand flags (for men) or flowers (for women), participated in the 4th annual non-competitive 9/11 Memorial Run. The Run starts at the Belmar boardwalk at the Dunkin Donuts area and proceeds to the beach at the Spring Lake/Sea Girt border on the breezy, cool evening of September 11.

Belmar’s Lieutenant Tim Mahoney of the New Jersey State Police, the Run director and “proud American,” with the Stars and Stripes flag pole in hand, led the very silent, non-talking pack on their trek with one stop at the park adjacent to Lake Como for participants to continue to share reading aloud the names of the 145 Jersey Shore residents who perished at the World Trade Center on that tragic day.

At the destination point, approximately a 2½ mile distance, a piece of the World Trade Center was placed on the sand where the gathered joggers finished reading the names from the list. Mahoney then offered the still very silent group an opportunity to sound aloud any name that was not on that list who also was a victim. About forty names were heard.

The group then placed their flags and flowers at the World Trade Center piece and “resumed” their return to the Dunkin Donuts area at their own pace with talking now allowed. Lake Como’s popular restaurant Bar Anticipation was the new “destination point” where a barbecue had been arranged for the 5-mile runners.

The theme of the Memorial Run, as stated by Mahoney at the 6 p.m. start, is to “Run, Reflect/Remember, and Resume.” The “run” is obvious since the idea was created by Mahoney and Bob Both who are members of the Jersey Shore Running Club and regulars on the club’s Thursday night run in that same boardwalk area. The “reflect/remember” is the reason for the silence (the only sound was the squeaking of the 600 running shoes meeting the boards) so there can be time to concentrate on the tragedy that occurred including picturing those poor souls that had to make the horrible decision to jump to their deaths rather than burn alive. The “resume” was in response to what President Bush had asked the country to do: “Resume your lives but never forget.” Mahoney in his final comments offered, “We runners will never forget.”