York Daily Record, Pa., Frank Bodani column
YORK, Pa, Mar 05, 2013 (York Daily Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Running Man has been through all of this before, in a way.
Larry Rosenblatt has run lots of marathons and has raised money for good causes.
The 1981 York Suburban graduate lives only three miles from the New Jersey shoreline. And so he's seen plenty of big storms, too.
But Hurricane Sandy was so different.
And then so was everything after that.
The life-changing stuff truly started when he learned of how the storm tore apart a New Jersey family in the most unthinkable way. Rosenblatt's company, Synchronoss Technologies, wanted to help and so he came up with an idea as a jump start.
Two years ago, he had run four marathons in six weeks and raised about $7,500 for a cancer charity in honor of his wife, who overcame leukemia in 2007.
So why not use the same method again, just bigger
Now, the goal is more than $10,000 for the Everett Family Fund, which will help support the four children of Richard and Elizabeth Everett.
The couple was killed when a tree fell on their car during the hurricane.
Not long after, Rosenblatt, 49, met the family's oldest child, Zoe, who is a sophomore at Rutgers University. He was stunned by her composure and eloquence in telling her story during a holiday event.
She's now the caregiver of her three younger siblings.
Rosenblatt's way of helping will be to run long again, starting in two weeks. He is collecting donations for doing marathons in Los Angeles, Boston, New Jersey and back home in York, at the Bob Potts Marathon at the end of May.
Four marathons in two months.
"Money can't buy a new set of parents, and can't even ease the pain," Rosenblatt said. "But if I can ease the burden . . .
"I've been afforded a lot of good luck in my life, even overcoming adversity. To me, it's not about acquiring stuff, it's much more rewarding to help other people get on the right path."
He ran his first marathon at 16, back in 1979. Three years later he finished the New York City marathon impressively enough, a minute under three hours.
He's done 21 of them altogether, though none will have the meaning of these next four.
Consider that his regular training route runs through some of the most devastated seaside areas. Portions of roadways are still closed, boardwalks are still missing, concrete is torn up everywhere.
"The destruction looks cataclysmic, still," he said.
The weight of just seeing it all, four months later, can be overwhelming and humbling.
And part of that, for Rosenblatt, is knowing how his own family dealt with only a week-long power outage and some minor property damage.
So his way of giving back is to run.
It's a good formula because marathons attract attention, which makes it easier to raise money. Better yet, his company will match whatever he raises up to $5,000.
It's as if two causes are coming together.
Each marathon in itself is a 26.2-mile ordeal, as well as a lesson. Running that long can provide plenty pain and fatigue, like his recent ailing hip, which is important because conquering that, "that's what builds your battle armor for life," Rosenblatt said.
Plus, running for a family torn apart like this provides even more incentive.
One positive charge builds upon another.
Twenty-one lifetime marathons turning into 25.
A passion turning into a simple way to help.
Frank Bodani is a sports reporter for the Daily Record/Sunday News. Reach him at 771-2104, email@example.com or @YDRPennState on Twitter.
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