Sunday, September 25, 2022

New York—Josh Lipowsky, a well-known freelance writer and editor who resides in Teaneck, ran the ING New York City Marathon in just under five hours, and raised almost $4,000 for The Blue Card, an organization that provides funding and assistance to impoverished Holocaust survivors. A few weeks ago, JLBC ran a story about him, but somehow we managed to confuse a few facts.

Josh is the grandson of Holocaust survivors, and his mother, Trudy, was born in the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in Germany, where many other members of the Second Generation were also born. Her parents were from Poland. His father, Herb, was born in Brooklyn, to parents who met and married in the United States before the war.

“I grew up knowing that my family had gone through something, and I as grew older, and the details began to come out, I realized how much they were affected by the Holocaust,” said Josh a few days after he ran the 26.2 miles through all five boroughs of New York City.

When Josh worked at the Conference for Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, he discovered The Blue Card, and wrote a piece on its marathon team for the Claims Conference’s website. At that time, he had become a runner for approximately two years, and, he said, “My longest race to that point had been a 10-kilometer race (slightly more than six miles) I figured I could train and join the Blue Card marathon team. That was my plan for last year. I began training back in the spring of 2012, and my fundraising brought in slightly more than $3,500.

“After the marathon was canceled because of Superstorm Sandy, I decided to make the effort again and complete the race this year.”

What was it like running through the city?

“It was amazing,” he said, noting he wore a shirt with The Blue Card’s logo to draw attention to the cause. “Lots of people lined the streets to cheer us along with encouraging signs and high-fives for our efforts. I ran through parts of the city I had never been to, including being on the Verazzano Bridge across Hudson Bay. I got to see parts of Brooklyn I had never seen before, and saw the diversity of New York, from Latino neighborhoods, Hasidic neighborhoods, and just garden variety areas.”

What ran through his mind as he ran through the streets? “First I concentrated on my time and pacing myself. I reached my personal best in the first half of the race, finishing in two hours and 12 minutes. After that, around mile 18, I began to hit the wall, and slowed down, but I kept thinking about the people I was running for—what they had gone through and were still going through—so I pushed extra hard, especially on the last eight miles, because I was determined not to disappoint them.”

When Josh crossed the finish line in Central Park, he says, “I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, and I was also ready to collapse.”

By Jeanette Friedman

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