Saturday, May 16, 2015

Why I am running in the Tom Ryan Race for Recovery tomorrow -- and why you should, too

Imagine simply doing your job one day when your entire life changes -- for the worse. That is what happened to Tom Ryan, a UPS delivery driver who worked on Staten Island. On Monday, April 6, he was unloading his truck at a tire store on Hylan Boulevard when a car careened into him and pinned him against his truck. The driver of the car said he was trying to avoid hitting a pedestrian, but he instead hit into Ryan. One of the UPS driver's legs was severed, and the other leg was severely injured. Since that time, Ryan has been in a medically induced coma, and is on a ventilator. 

Ryan is from Bayonne and has a wife and three children, age 15, 17, and 20. As you can imagine, this accident has been a nightmare for the family. So Isaac Rivera, a fellow UPS worker (and a great runner who I know from the Staten Island Athletic Club, my running club), along with some other Brothers in Brown at UPS, are trying to help the family. 

To that end, they came up with the idea for a 5K race to help the family. So the Tom Ryan Race for Recovery is happening this Sunday morning, May 17, at 10 a.m. in Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island, If you are interested, you can sign up tomorrow morning at the park -- admission is $20. Click here for more info. There will also be a one-mile walk, which is $10, and a free fun run for kids. Lots of good people on Staten Island are also involved in putting this event on, including SIAC, King of the Mountain Events, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and the Brighton Kiwanis Club. 

I will be running the race tomorrow, and I hope there is a huge turnout. If you can't make the race, but would still like to help the Ryan family, click here for the GoFundMe page set up to help the family.

I have thought a lot about Tom Ryan since his tragic accident. It is frightening to think about how his and his family's life were turned upside down through absolutely no fault of their own. But it is also uplifting to see how many people on Staten Island, especially in the running community, are trying to help the family. 

Runners and walkers really are some of the best people around. I discovered that again tonight when I went for a run in Great Kills Park early this evening. I was planning on doing four miles -- two miles each way -- and was having a great time. Then it started to rain when I still had a mile left, which is annoying, but it was accompanied by lightning, which is dangerous. I got a little scared, worrying about getting to my car in the lightning. Fortunately, a car of people finishing their own workout spotted me in the park and got me a ride back to my car. Whew!

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