Our volunteer, Eddie Jacobs, joined our ING Marathon team this year. To do so, he committed to raising at least $2,500 for God’s Love. Not only did Eddie raise $2,500 but he actually raised more than $10,000! Eddie trained all year and reached out to many friends and family members for their support of his race and God’s Love We Deliver. After the news of the NYC Marathon’s cancellation, Eddie ran his own marathon and to follow through on his commitment. Here’s a guest blog post, written by Eddie.

First, I want to thank everyone who reached out to me immediately following the cancellation news. It was so gratifying to hear your good wishes. I received word about the cancellation while at the Marathon Expo, as I was picking up my race number and t-shirt. I was devastated. I returned home to a lighted apartment, the first time in 4 days. But even the lights and running water couldn’t cheer me up. But then I saw the news on TV, the devastation in Staten Island, and the Rockaways…

I won’t debate the decision to cancel the race here. I heard both sides of the issue, and good points can be made for either case. In the end, I realized that although I was disappointed, I was safe, had no loss of property, and that things would return to normal for me fairly quickly. Others were not so lucky. But I had already accomplished what I set out to do: I raised a lot of money for a great cause, I pushed myself to stay the course with my training and I could run a marathon with confidence. The whole experience was an incredible life lesson. In addition, the health benefits, the stress relief, and the runners high are very real.

Despite these events, my plan was to run the marathon. The ING Marathon Facebook page was filled with posts from despondent runners who were looking for alternatives. The Run Anyway NYC Marathon 2012 group was meeting in Central Park at 9am on Sunday morning. It stated the only requirement was to bring food, water, clothing and supplies for Hurricane Sandy victims. So along with thousands of others marathoners, I went to Central Park and completed the marathon in 3 hours and 54 minutes by looping through the Park 4.5 times. My partner, Alan, was there every 6 miles to re-fill water and provide encouragement. The Park was filled with people cheering us on. It was an incredible experience, and although not the same as running through 5 boroughs, still a major accomplishment.

The main purpose of writing this blog is to share my story and thank my supporters. As a contributor to God’s Love We Deliver, everyone who donated to my marathon helped provide food to those less fortunate, and now, this mission is more important than ever. After Hurricane Sandy, the agency lost power so God’s Love closed for 5 days. Despite the storm, staff and volunteers remained committed to helping those in need. The agency donated 8,000 meals to those displaced by Sandy. 2,300 “Sandy bags” of non-perishable food were delivered to as many clients as we could get to and God’s Love was able to reach 750 clients, despite the terrible conditions on the roads and in the neighborhoods.

There are some people I want to acknowledge, because this wouldn’t have been possible without them: Yves Precourt and Paul Resnick for putting the idea in my head to run my first marathon in Toronto last year; Nick Webb who encouraged me to “just do it”; the love and support of my family, especially brotherly advice from Howard Jacobs; the crew at God’s Love We Deliver, especially Karen Bdera who kept me informed about everything and was a great coach too; my esteemed colleagues at Thomson Reuters, especially the huge donations from the Sales Management Team; the boys at Holly House on Fire Island –David Schutte, Orlando Carreras, Mark Bergamini, Chris Oates, and Rob Levy, who were there to greet me almost every weekend after my long runs on the boards and the beach; all the early risers Eric Winterling, Michael Peck, Robb Cole, Michael, Mason, David Kennerley, and Tom Kidwell at Fire island who greeted me with smiling faces as I ran by; my dearest friends, Erick Berg, Neil Adlin, and Richard O’Connell whose love and support are immeasurable; my fellow runners Tim Blaquiere, Will Janensch, Chris Kleparek, Piotr Marczewski and especially Franca DiPaola who helped me navigate the New York Road Runners, and was my first contributor to God’s Love (10 minutes after posting). And my mom, Thelma Jacobs for her unprejudiced love and of course Alan Cohen, my spouse, life-partner and runner’s widow, here’s my message for you: “I get to do it all over next year!”