I can’t imagine running a marathon.
The long miles. The pounding heart. The aching legs.
I imagine the only thing keeping me going would be the crowds. They cheer you on whether you’re first, 500th or dead last.
So I really can’t imagine running a marathon alone.
But that’s exactly what Victor Nordenson will do, this Saturday.
At 6 a.m. the Westporter will set out from the corner of Long Lots Road and North Morningside. He’ll head up North Avenue, go left on Cross Highway, through downtown, back to Long Lots, south to Greens Farms, back again to Long Lots, up North Avenue again but this time into Fairfield, back one more time to Long Lots, up Roseville, then back one final time before finishing — 26.2 miles later — right where he began.
I’m exhausted typing all that. But Nordenson will run it all. All by himself. And all as a fundraiser for United Way Coastal of Fairfield County‘s COVID-19 relief efforts.
Nordenson — who moved to Westport last year — has run marathons already, in Houston and his hometown, Stockholm. Toronto would have been his 3rd, next weekend.
When that was canceled, Nordenson — who came to the US in 2006 to play hockey, first with the Alaska Avalanche and then Manhattanville College — decided that all his 5:30 a.m. training should not go to waste.
Distancing guidelines make running together impractical. So he’ll go solo.
“It is difficult to imagine all of the people who have, and will be, impacted by this pandemic. And all of the people who will wake up when this storm has settled with a forever changed life,” Nordenson says. “Some will pay the highest price.”
He will run “for all the people who have suddenly lost something or someone. I hope I can raise awareness and funds for United Way, to support all the great things they do.”
He’s set up a GoFundMe page. His commitment — besides running 26.2 miles — is to donate $5 for every minute below a finish time of 4 hours (minimum $150).
He’s also collecting donations. His goal was $2,620 — get it? — which he reached a few days ago. But you can still help; just click here.
Nordenson says, “No one can do everything. But we can all do something. We are in this together, and together is better.”
Together is indeed better — even if it means running a marathon by yourself.
If you see Victor Nordenson running by on Saturday, cheer as loudly as you can — even (especially) if you are alone.
After all, this isn’t the Toronto Marathon. It’s the Westport Marathon.
You can’t beat that.
(Hat tip: Jon Lieber)