I was born in Syracuse on August 12, 1972.
I was what you would call a "husky" boy. I frequented the corner store a bit too much and like TV a bit too much. However, I was always working odd jobs to pay for my candy, ice cream and pizza. I would shovel in the winter, cut grass in the summer, and was a paperboy year round. My other substantial expense was for baseball cards. While most kids were interested in cards of their favorite players and teams, I saw them purely as an investment. I kept them in meticulous condition on the assumption that I would have a windfall coming to me in the future. Well, the baseball card bubble burst and that windfall never came (for further illustrations of this phenomenon ask me about working for TheStreet.com).
My happiest early childhood memories were growing up on Bryant Avenue on Tipperary Hill, going to St. Patrick's School and hanging out at the Boy's Club. I loved basketball and would play for hours. It wasn't until high school that I would start to realize that I wasn't going to make a living at it. However, in those days at the Boy's Club I would discover my running endurance. One day, undoubtedly inspired by my father's marathon running, I set out to run for an hour non-stop around the gym. It was grueling but I finished and it became a new goal that other kids would attempt and be rewarded for if successful.
High School started at all boys CBA on the other side of Syracuse. I'm not sure if it was the distance, the male students, or the lack of female students but I was ready to leave after a year. I transferred to Corcoran where I know no one other than my father's friend John Holm (no not "John Holmes") the track and cross country coach. Corcoran was a very successful team and I did not add very much to that success. They team was a great group of guys and there I would meet my best friend - and the best man - Andy McDonald. To claim my bit of Corcoran History I ran a marathon my senior year with father in Burlington VT. It was my first marathon and the only one of my 27 that I ran with my father. We went out too fast (or at least I did) - a lesson that I still haven't learned - and struggled to finish, but I did. When I returned to school the next day I couldn't walk up and down the stairs so I need to take the elevator with the handicap students. They all knew me, or at least voted for me for class president (another story), so it was a friendly ride for my few disabled days.
I discovered rowing in college and it would turn out to be a great sport for me. It would propel me into the NYAC and the NYAC would propel me into Pattiann. She is my soul mate in so many ways other than running. But when I proposed at the finish line of my tenth consecutive NYC marathon I knew I had finally found my marathon-loving match. I would have never guessed after moving to NYC, and away from Tipperary Hill and Coleman's, I would meet the love-of-my-life and she would be a "Mc". What a better place for two celtic-striders like us to get married than at the Boston Marathon?! (BTW also my 10 th). See you on Heartbreak Hill...as they say, "it's all downhill from here!"