Craig Adler was fast.
In his senior year of high school he helped his American School in Japan team win the 5K Far East Championship. They beat every military and international school in Asia.
But at the University of Rochester — burned out by running — Adler turned to crew.
After graduation, he worked for years on Wall Street. Last year he went back to school, and earned a degree in public policy from the University of Connecticut. Now he does development and fundraising for the non-profit Norwalk Housing Foundation.
As he got older, Adler missed running. Wearing a brace after knee surgery, he rediscovered his passion.
In 2014, he ran his first marathon: the Lehigh Valley. He was 49 years old.
His time was so good, he qualified for the Boston Marathon. That’s quite an accomplishment.
Even more impressively, 6 days after Boston he ran the much hillier (and more beautiful) Big Sur Marathon, on the other side of the country.
“I was addicted to marathons,” he admits.
He also was addicted to raising money. At the Marine Corps Marathon, he raised funds for wounded warriors in Washington, DC. At the New York Marathon, his cause was Shoe4Africa.
(Adler’s son Scott — now a junior at Staples — got the fundraising bug too. After the Nepal earthquake, he and 2 Westport Y Water Rat teammates collected $45,000 in just 2 weeks.)
Recently, Adler’s sister, Julie Robinson — an occupational therapist who works with autistic children — mentioned the House of Possibilities respite facility in Massachusetts. Children with significant challenges go there to recharge — while their families get a break from the demands of being round-the-clock caregivers.
That’s the team Adler is running for at next month’s Boston Marathon. It’s a significant step up from other runs. In addition to the $400 entry fee, he pledged to raise $5,000. Most marathon goals are $1,500.
But it’s important to Adler. “I like to give back,” he simply.
At 52, he runs marathons faster than people half his age. His best time was 3:14 — but he’s proudest of his 3:19 in the 2015 Boston Marathon. That took place in bone-chilling temperatures and pouring rain, with wind blowing in his face the entire way.
Adler has created a fundraising page. He hopes you’ll click here to help.