After New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the controversial decision to cancel the New York Marathon due to Hurricane Sandy, New Canaan resident Jeremy Goodman, who was to compete in the event on behalf of Team Hole in the Wall, decided at the last minute to organize his own marathon in New Canaan in honor of the many people who helped him raise more than $100,000 for the The Hole In The Wall Gang, a non-profit founded in 1988 by Paul Newman which runs a camp for seriously ill children in Connecticut.
"I was disappointed with the Mayor's decision to cancel the marathon…" Goodman said on Sunday afternoon, still burning after the 26.2 mile marathon traversing storm-ravaged New Canaan. "… and since we had a lot of people who had donated money, and since some of us still had the motivation [to run], we decided to do our own marathon anyway, in recognition of the support Team Hole in the Wall has received."
About 20 people gathered in front of the New Canaan Fire Station Sunday afternoon to cheer on the runners at the finish line. In addition various people assisted with distributing water and monitoring the runners as they made their grueling, circuitous, mostly-north-south trek through town (altogether about 50 people turned out to support the event). Goodman said although he saw quite a bit of storm damage and debris all around town "the roads were pretty clear."
Michael Hund, assistant director for Team Hole in the Wall, said the impromptu marathon — which began on Briscoe Road and ended at God's Acre — came about partly because some of the runners on the team were "still motivated" to run and wanted to "stay involved." He said other members of the Team down in the New York City area participated in a similar last-minute marathon that started out of Central Park on Sunday — in addition, "other team members assisted with relief efforts on Staten Island…"
Joining Goodman for the marathon was John McCarthy of Greenwich and Debbie Fraser of Willington. In addition Danielle Koczarski of Stamford finished a half marathon. All the runners wore their official Team Hole in the Wall jerseys.
Hund credited Goodman's wife, Jennifer, as being instrumental in bringing the event together — the pair created a route map and had Hole in the Wall staff contact other Team members at the last minute to make it happen.
In addition to the $100,000+ Goodman raised for the NYC Marathon, other team members collectively raised an additional $480,000, for a total of about $580,000, Hund said.
Located in Ashford, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is dedicated to providing “a different kind of healing” to seriously ill children and their families throughout the Northeast, free of charge.
Funded through donations, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp provides a "unique healing experience to kids in need and their families."
Team Hole in the Wall is the Camp’s grassroots fundraising program and participates in or hosts a number of annual, athletic events, including the historic Fairfield Road Races, as well as cycling events.