WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
By Jeff Benjamin
A Column appearing every two months informing people about the POSITIVE things which are going on in the Staten Island running community.
February 4, 2003 - I'm sorry for the delay...not that there is'nt any good news to write about, but finding the time to write about it is difficult.
Most of us know that the oldest continuous race on Staten Island is the Lou Marli Thanksgiving day Turkey Trot. But the oldest race on Staten Island is the Muche-Struck Veterans day. Founded over 60 years ago and sponsored by Fred Muche, this race, held on Veterans day, had some periods where the race did'nt take place. The race has also had a very interesting journey. In the early years, it was run on the streets. Then it moved to Clove Lakes Park. Then in the spirit of true, grueling cross-country, it was moved to Goodhue park. Attendance at the race has also varied through the years. In the earlier years, between 15 and 100 competitors came. During the "boom years" of the 1970-1980 periopd, there were two races set up due to the hundreds of competitors. At Goodhue, there were 55 competitors one year, and 18 the next!
Most of the legwork for putting this event on through the years had been due to the generous efforts of the late Fred Muche (A member of the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame) , the Livingston Veterans post, the Staten Island Athletic Club, and Judge Mike Brennan and Bill Magnuski.
So, it was with some sadness that the Staten Island running community learned that there would'nt be a Muche-Struck run in 2002! As some know, putting on an event can be very time-consuming and require lots of energy. Coordinating things like getting permits, getting the awards and volunteers are only just a small part of the challenge in putting on an event.
Well, as most know, someone did come forward this past year to put the event on--Tommy Hart. Tommy, a member of the Richmond Rockets, did all the legwork with only 3 weeks to go until the event like getting the permits, getting awards and putting out a race application. With only 3 weeks preparation, 70 runners did show up on the flat, 3-mile Clove Lakes course this past Veterans Day! The food spread for the race was out there for all finishers, and, most importantly, Tommy announced that he was going to make the 2003 event better than the past one!!
So recognition goes to someone who through the years has always and unconditionally given to the Island running community. It is with pride that Tommy Hart, a veteran himself, is getting CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE.