From Brooklyn To The Borscht Belt


What a way to spend a summer day.

For the second year in a row, more than six-dozen runners made the traditional trek from Brooklyn to the Catskills in a nontraditional way — on foot.

The participants in the Run for Hope, sponsored by the JRunners organization, were raising money for the Brooklyn-based Ohr Meir Foundation, which was established in 1994 in memory of Meir Friedman, who lost a seven-year battle with leukemia two weeks short of his 10th birthday. His parents, Ari and Idy Friedman, founded the organization to give other children with cancer Make A Wish-like experiences; so far 1,000 children have taken part in Ohr Meir activities.

The recent 19-hour, 140-mile relay featured 10-runner teams who set out from Prospect Park and finished at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, where, 5,000 spectators gathered to cheer the athletes and a concert followed.

The run included planned events (a break in Rockland County for breakfast and morning prayer services) and the unplanned (a deer crossing one runner’s path, a drenching downpour near the end).

“The race was painful. Agony. And every single second was worth it,” said Avrumi Leibowitz of Brooklyn. “You are improving your health and helping kids with cancer. What could be better than that?”