For the past few years my friend Maria and I been wanting to run this race, but life keeps getting in the way. This year Maria had a previous engagement, but I was determined to do it since it was the 13th annual one (13 is my lucky number).
Each year runners are able to designate which NYPD hero they
are running in memory of, and their name is displayed on the running bib. I had chosen Police Officer Kevin Lee.
I never personally worked with Kevin, but I know many people that did, and somehow I too felt connected to Kevin beside being my brother in blue. I was working the day of the incident that led to his demise. I was the one who got the the sad and devastating notification at the Boro (the main office of the NYPD Manhattan North Borough). :( I still remember how I felt to hear those words, I can't even imagine how devastating it was for his family.
It was a beautiful day for the run and there were over 1,400 participants--every single one of them running in the memory of a hero.
Beside being an emotional run, I got to see faces that I had not seen in years. Wonderful people that I have worked with, or went through the Police Academy with. It was great to see all of them
What made it more than worthwhile for me was when I was introduced to Kevin Lee's parents, sister and son. Kevin's son was only 6 years old in 2006 when he passed away, and has grown into a wonderful young man resembling his father. The parents thanked me for running in the memory of their son. It really brought tears to my eyes. They are wonderful people and we are all more than proud of the heroic actions of Kevin M. Lee. RIP
|(L - R) Kevin's father Gil, Liz Farias, Me, Kevin's mother Cathy, & Kevin's sister Jeanine|
|Kevin's sister Jeanine, Me & Kevin's Mom Cathy|
Results did not matter too much for me on this particular race. This run was meaningful just to run it - I can honestly say I ran with a heavy heart.
Just to make it official my time was 32:59, placing me #737 out of 1,416 participants.
It was great to see so many familiar and lovely faces from my NYPD family. A special thanks to my friends, Liz Farias and Amy Loretoni, and to my hubby Freddie for coming to the race to cheer me on.
May all the "Heroes is Our Heart" rest in peace.
Editor's Note: Needless to say this run was dedicated to my brother in blue Kevin M. Lee whose end of tour was on Friday, January 27, 2006. He did what most of us run away from, but his heroic actions will never be forgotten.
Wishing Kevin's family the very best and for his son I can only say that your father had left his own legacy and you should be proud. God Bless.
|Kevin M. Lee - RIP|