If you were any sort of athlete from Holy Name, it’s almost certain you ran track in the spring or cross country in the fall. Some guys/gals were faster than others. We had some fantastic sprinters, we had some awesome distance runners. I’m not really sure if I was considered fast or slow. But I do know I ran both track and cross country and did OK. Actually, if you played basketball you HAD to run both track and X-country.
We had some outstanding runners in our neighborhood. People that come to mind are the late Vinny Brunton who could be seen jogging around the park at a fast pace almost daily. Mary Kawas was a great runner who could circle the park as fast as anyone. Guys like Victor Vientos, Jerry Cole, John Cain, Edmund Gallahue, and Mickey Reilly could all motor.
Danny Mahoney, A.K.A. ‘Chief’ sent me a great story about his time as a runner.
(June 16, 1985)
A lot of folks were into running from the neighborhood. Farrell’s used to sponsor a road race around the inner roadway of the park each year. A lot of people also ran the New York City marathon; Mickey McNally, Tommy Barrett, Jimmy Rallis and Barry Feder are a few of the long distance runners that come to mind.
Funny thing was, I was not one of them. I used to run to Grand Army Plaza and back. About 2 miles, three times per week. (Editor’s note: Danny, don’t feel bad, I think that was the norm with most people from the neighborhood-Grand Army and back. I actually stopped at 9th street and turned back)
There was a 55 mile race from Central Park to Maopac, NY. Running in the race was pretty wild but the best part was how in the hell we even were accepted in the race!
It turned out to be a major race with world class runners entered. Barry, Jimmy Rallis, and George Najjor were pretty good runners but nobody would have taken any of us for ‘world class.”
Tony Krudolf followed us with a van and acted as our support vehicle. I was running one of the last legs in the race and I was running like I was on my last legs. Tony kept saying, “Chief, just get in the van, we are so far behind the cops are opening up the road to traffic.”
I would not get in and kept on running. All the while cursing at Tony and laughing my ass off.
We finished dead last, but at least we finished. When we walked in the the hall where they were having the awards banquet they had already started the awards ceremony.
In fact I was not even supposed to run in the 55mile race until the day of the race. I worked the before bartending at McBears. Jimmy Rauthier was supposed to run but did not make it. Barry asked me to fill in. I think that I slept about two hours that night. The Jackson Brown song, ‘Running on Empty‘ comes to mind.