Sunday, November 6, was a bright, brisk fall day that presented people with two choices: to cozy up with hot chocolate and warm sweaters or try and conquer the TCS New York City Marathon. Among those intrepid enough to opt for the latter were a dozen dedicated and inspirational runners comprising Team OHEL. They run not for glory, but to help raise funds and awareness of OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services.
The race began in Staten Island and weaved through the five boroughs of New York, culminating in Central Park. Throughout the race New Yorkers cheered more than 51,000 runners as they made their way around the city; music played and signs were waved exhorting the runners to finish the world’s largest marathon. Team OHEL had some especially talented runners this year, including Solly Ellman (3:27), Yoni Hook (3:43) and Alan Klein (4:07), running impressive times.
Team OHEL had a special cheering section near Mile Six in Brooklyn, waving flags, high fiving the runners and giving them a boost of energy as they made their way to the finish line. OHEL runners come from all over — New Jersey, New York, Long Island and Canada — and they all had personal stories inspiring them to run, whether it was for health, social or charitable reasons. Special thanks to Coach David Roher of Teaneck, the Team OHEL trainer and real life Iron Man. Says Roher, “Running the full 26.2 miles in my full Iron Man costume allowed me to interact with all kinds of people, especially children. Seeing their happiness reminded every step why I support OHEL.”
Team OHEL would just be a brand name without the continued help of their many supporters. “We are very appreciative of all of our runners’ significant fundraising efforts that benefit children and adults with disabilities, foster children and in domestic-violence shelters,” said Meital Cafri, Event Coordinator for OHEL. Cafri added, “The continued support for Team OHEL is essential to providing life-changing services to those in need.” OHEL’s generous fundraisers were led by Alan Klein, Jeremy Lavitt of Clifton and Yoni Hook.
OHEL has collaborated with the TCS New York City Marathon since 2009 and started running with the United Airlines New York City Half Marathon last year. Up next for Team OHEL are the New York Five Boro Bike Tour on May 1, the OHEL Xtreme Challenge on May 15 and the NYC Triathlon on July 16. If you’re interested in joining Team OHEL as a runner, biker or fundraising supporter, please contact Meital Cafri at 718-686-3217 or [email protected]