I'm not bragging. I hope you don't think I
am. There's a reason I need to tell you the following:
I've started nine marathons, which are 26.2 miles in length, and I've
finished nine marathons. And I've finished all of them running, although, I
should add, not very fast.
I've run several half marathons. A couple of them were on courses with hills
so high that I wondered why we weren't issued oxygen masks at the starting
I've finished 24 consecutive Boilermakers. One of those Boilermakers came
during a year in which I had medical problems. I didn't think I'd be able to
walk that year let alone run, but I kept my Boilermaker string going.
I've been fortunate to run in races in half of these United States. Some of
those were on courses that take your breath away - literally and
I've run with famous people.
I carried the Olympic Torch in 1996 as part of the relay run around the
All of the above, I can assure you, were thrilling.
But none of those events made me feel that way I felt walking around the
track a few years ago at Proctor High School in Utica as a participant in
Relay For Life.
I felt lucky, that day, and I felt humbled. I was in awe. And I felt like I
was doing something good and important. The reasons for having those
feelings was that I was out there walking with cancer survivors and with
people who cared about them and with people who wanted to fight that damn
Boonville will have its own Relay For Life on June 3rd and 4th. Information
about it can be found on page one of this week's Herald. This is a first for
I'm going to participate, run a little and walk a little. It will be the
most important thing I've done in a long time. I suspect I won't be the only
one who feels that way.
I'm hoping that the Fairgrounds will be filled with people. I believe they
will feel the way I felt that day at Proctor.
When it's over, I suspect that most of them will agree with me that
participating in Relay For Life is one of the most important things they've
done in a long time.
Joe Kelly is the editor and publisher of The Boonville Herald & Adirondack Tourist and