A Home Run (by Dr. Pete Duggan)

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After nearly three years of “I’m too busy” excuses, plus a few untimely injuries, I find myself a few days away from the 2013 edition of the Brooklyn Half marathon. With over 25,000 runners toeing the starting line I know I won’t be alone. This race, however, will be different for me: I’ll be running home.

The past 24 months of man-made and natural forces provided my family, residing in Breezy Point, with a house fire, a rebuild and a return home that was quickly stolen from us by Hurricane Sandy. Brooklyn became my family’s adoptive home for several months. As a friend pointed out, “You don’t adopt Brooklyn. Brooklyn adopts you.”

I started my training while living in Brooklyn and was able to pound the pavement in some great places I’d previously only driven through. My family enjoyed our stay in Brooklyn and today it feels like our second home.

When the gun goes off on May 18th, I’ll do my laps around Prospect Park, wind my way by Grand Army Plaza, count down the alphabet streets along the straight-away of Ocean Parkway and then find my feet on the ramp to the Coney Island boardwalk.

When I get to the top of the ramp and land on the boardwalk, I will look across Jamaica Bay and see the friendly but battered shores of Breezy Point. I won’t be running for a cause. I won’t be running for a time. And I definitely won’t be running for prize money.

I’ll be running home.

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