Runners Reflect on 9/11 Tragedy at Unique Remembrance Race
BY JIM ROBBINS
BELMAR, NJ--In keeping with our nations 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.
Belmars 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 Comos 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 clubs 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.