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The September 15th Fun Run
By Richard Ruberto

Today at 9am, Sept. 15, I went to the park for my weekly 3 mile race. The runners were gathered around, in small groups, talking about the devastation at the World Trade center.

I wondered how the pace would be. I figured a faster then normal start because of the built up frustration and thought of going out mid pace so I could have a strong finish.

We reflected and prayed silently for those still missing, among them several runners who are normally in the race. One in particular, Thomas Celic. Tom's brother was a fireman killed in the line of duty. The air was still and there were tears in our eyes. I knew then this run wasn't going to be like all the rest.

Fast and slow alike ran together. We didn't turn on the clock, no one tried to win. We all ran in one large group talking as we went. Other park goers watched and stepped off the path as we went by. Not a word said, just a nod here and there.

As we approached the three mile mark the conversations came to halt. All one could hear was the sound of feet hitting the ground. We knew the race would soon come to an end and we would all go back to what ever it is we all do. I for one didn't want todays run to end.

We gathered around at the finish line and talked some more. There was a void in the air today. I felt alone even around so many people. I feel like this is a bad dream. Then I look around and don't see Tom. But it felt as though he was running with us today. I could almost hear him saying why are you all running so slow.

May all the souls of those lost rest in peace.

Richard Ruberto