Tag Archives: marathon

Middle Village teacher running for a cause

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of Christ the King High School

One Middle Village high school teacher is using his passion for running marathons to support education and teach by example.

Christ the King High School teacher Paul Salerni has run 44 marathons in his life. This year, he plans on running to help raise awareness for the Hale Reservation, an organization that educates schoolchildren about nature and the environment.

Salerni has been an avid runner for over 40 years, but this year’s Boston Marathon — which takes place on Apr. 20 — will mark the first time that he will be running to raise money for an organization. Salerni and his team of 17 runners aim to raise $75,000 for the Hale Reservation.

“After reading many environmental headlines lately, I have learned that half of the world’s wildlife has been lost over the last 40 years and that the oceans now contain over 5 trillion pieces of plastic,” Salerni said. “As educators, we know how important it is to raise awareness through education; Hale Reservation does this.”

“To raise awareness is one thing, to act on it is another,” he added.

Salerni has always loved running. He was a runner in junior high school, high school and college. “Running is a great way to manage stress,” he said.

In order to perform at the level necessary for the Boston Marathon, Salerni runs four to five days a week and cross trains on the other days. He usually rides his bike to keep up his endurance and cross country skis when there is some snow on the ground.

“I average 35 miles a week running,” he said. “I’m aiming for three hours and 30 minutes at the marathon. My best is three hours, eight minutes, I think I’m capable of it.”

Salerni has been a faculty member at Christ the King High School for over 27 years, and he teaches social studies and English. He is also an adjunct English professor for Queensborough Community College.

“We at Christ the King are proud of our faculty members who teach through example in shaping the leaders of tomorrow,” Christ the King Chairman Serphin R. Maltese said.

Principal Peter Mannarino added, “Mr. Salerni is an inspiration to all of us who care about our environment, as well as our own personal physical fitness.”

To help support the Hale Reservation, visit www.razoo.com/story/Paul-Salerni.


Headlines from around the web

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The Afternoon Roundup

What marathon runners are doing today

The controversy over the ING NYC Marathon—and the city’s decision to hold it in spite of widespread Hurricane Sandy damage and then cancel it after intense backlash—turned what is usually a joyous NYC event into an uncomfortable topic. And it turned the runners, who truly do love NYC and the experience seeing it across 26 miles, into unwitting villains. Let’s leave the villainy to others—ahem, New York Road Runners Club—and celebrate the runners’ spirit: About a thousand headed to Staten Island this morning to help with relief efforts, while 2,000 are in Central Park running a marathon and raising money for relief efforts! Gothamist

Hurricane Sandy drives down major crime, but burglaries are up

The city saw a significant drop in several categories of major crime – but a slight uptick in reported burglaries – with the onslaught of Superstorm Sandy. Murders citywide dropped 86% from Monday, when the hurricane hit, to Friday, compared with the same time frame in 2011, NYPD statistics show.NYDailyNews 

Cuomo says subway service will not be normal on Monday

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, Sen. Chuck Schumer, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and other city and state officials huddled together for a press conference updating New Yorkers on the latest Hurricane Sandy response plans inside the Governor’s NYC Office in Manhattan. Cuomo had some sobering words about what the state of the subways would be like tomorrow: “Service will not be normal tomorrow,” he said. “Volume will be way up, schools will be open, and because of the gas problem, many more people will be on mass transit.” Gothamist

Queens residents arm themselves from looters

When night falls in the Rockaways, the hoods come out. Ever since Sandy strafed the Queens peninsula and tore up the boardwalk, it’s become an often lawless place where cops are even scarcer than electrical power and food. Locals say they are arming themselves with guns, baseball bats, booby traps — even a bow and arrow — to defend against looters. NYDailyNews


Queens Morning Roundup

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Today’s Forecast

Friday: A slight chance of showers after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Friday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 42. Northwest wind around 11 mph.

Hurricane Sandy leads to city gas shortage, run on gas

With millions of New Yorkers heading back to work and limited subway service, many residents hopped in their cars only to find no place to fill up. “Gas is in short supply,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the daily press conference updating New Yorkers on the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy. Long lines litter the gas stations throughout the borough that still have gas, with drivers waiting more than hour. Read more: Queens Courier

HOV rules clog river crossings

High-occupancy vehicle restrictions and the return of mass transit created a fresh nightmare for the flood of commuters trying to cram into Manhattan yesterday — backing up traffic for miles and causing long lines squeezing to get on shuttle buses. Police checkpoints were set up to enforce the rule of three people per vehicle and avoid a repeat of Wednesday’s staggering gridlock, but it also led to hour-long waits to cross the East and Hudson rivers. Read more: NY Post

Belle Harbor resident uses twine, electrical cords to save self, neighbors

Some people panic in a crisis, but others find their inner hero, like one man whose quick thinking and guts spelled the difference between life and death for his neighbors in Belle Harbor. Watch video: NY1

Generators should give power to people — not marathon

As hundreds of thousands of Big Apple residents suffer in homes left without power by Hurricane Sandy, two massive generators are being run 24/7 in Central Park — to juice a media tent for Sunday’s New York City Marathon. And a third “backup” unit sits idle, in case one of the generators fails. Read more: NY Post

Disturbed man randomly stabs woman, 22, after following her from Queens bus

An emotionally disturbed man followed a woman as she stepped off a Queens bus, stabbing her in an unprovoked attack, police said Thursday. Edwin Rios, 27, was busted at 12:40 a.m., almost three hours after he allegedly stabbed the 22-year-old victim at 73rd Ave. and Francis Lewis Boulevard, in Fresh Meadows. Read more: Daily News

Howard Beach pizzeria stays open despite blackout resulting from Hurricane Sandy

No power, no problem. One pizzeria in Howard Beach isn’t letting anything get in the way of a good slice. Romano’s restaurant is the only eatery on Cross Bay Boulevard that has been serving food to the blacked-out neighborhood since Tuesday. Read more: NY Post


Astoria resident running for Queens in NYC Marathon

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Salvatore Polizzi

Like many New Yorkers, Salvatore Polizzi had for years told himself he would run in the New York City marathon by the time he reached 30.

The decision to run a marathon usually rests in achieving a life-long goal and testing your limits. But the year Polizzi, a native of Ridgewood, turned 30 coincided with his mother, Anna, being diagnosed with cervical cancer. He always had a desire to run; now he had a reason.

“I’ve made it a point since 2009 to stop imagining a world without cancer, but actually start fighting for one,” Polizzi said.

Not wanting to just sit on the sidelines, Polizzi’s fight began with running the ING New York City Marathon that year as part of Fred’s Team of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, helping raise money for cancer research.

This year, the 32-year-old will continue raising money during his run while also competing as the Queens representative in the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge.

For the 12th time, Foot Locker is pitting five strangers – one from each borough – to participate in a unique “race within a race.” Foot Locker chooses competitors who overcome challenges through sheer will, positivity and running.

“It’s an honor to be among the group chosen and I hope that, among the many wonderful experiences that will undoubtedly present themselves, my efforts will shine a spotlight on my cause,” he said.

The marathoners will run together over the first half of the race. Once they finish mile 13, the race within the race commences and the runners will be competing for borough bragging rights, along with a Tiffany trophy and a $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice.

The Pace University graduate owns and operates the pizzeria and Italian eatery, Tony’s in Bushwick, which his parents opened 35 years ago. The long days and nights running the restaurant do not provide Polizzi with optimal training time, but he manages to find opportunities – usually while the rest of the world sleeps.

A normal day begins at about 5 a.m., allowing Polizzi to get a one-hour morning workout before beginning his workday that lasts until 11 p.m. This is where the real marathon training begins. Once Polizzi gets back to his Astoria home, he grabs his running shoes. Those two hours when many have already hit the sack is when Polizzi hits the streets.

“They call it ‘the city that never sleeps,’ but it’s very peaceful,” he said of running at night.

The alone time and peacefulness of the runs is something Polizzi has needed in a turbulent time.

Polizzi, the second oldest of six, lost a brother in September to wounds suffered during a home invasion.

“Running alone puts you at peace to some degree,” Polizzi said. “No matter what challenges; no matter what’s going on, every step you take is a challenge. [Running] settles me, it grounds me, it focuses me. Not that you put things on the back burner, but you can put things into perspective.”

Polizzi was born and raised in Ridgewood, attending Grover Cleveland High School where he played baseball and ran track – to the dismay and surprise of many doctors.

The summer before Polizzi’s freshman year, he was struck by a car, shattering his ankle which required surgery and pins to be inserted.

“Doctors told me I would have to say goodbye to certain things,” Polizzi recalled. “I wasn’t going to be able to do the things athletically I did before.”

But being told he couldn’t do it made him all the more determined to prove the doctors wrong.

“I was on the track team for all four years,” he said. “The doctors thought I was crazy.”

That hard work and determination will come in handy when Polizzi is racing through the five boroughs. He aims to finish the marathon within three-and-a-half hours. During the race when many marathoners run to the sounds of their iPod, Polizzi will rely on the sounds of the city and its residents for inspiration.

“I would miss the feel of the crowd, the excitement from the crowd,” Polizzi said of racing with an iPod at the November 6 race. “The best thing about the marathon is [the spectators] inspire you to run faster. It’s an amazing feeling. You got a feel for what New York is really about, how amazingly inspiring they could be.”

And Polizzi knows what New York is really about, having grown up in Queens, with a family restaurant in Brooklyn and attending college in Manhattan, which is why representing his borough is all the more nerve- racking, he said. He wants to put his and the borough’s best foot forward.

“Queens is my home, Queens is where I grew up,” Polizzi said. “I want to bring this home for Queens, put the spotlight on Queens. I think I’ll be able to pull it off.”

To donate to Fred’s Team of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in support of vital cancer research visit http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/FredsTeamEvents/Freds_Team?px=1961618&pg=personal&fr_id=1460