[We got this note below from Geoff Steadman, 25x Loop runner, on Sunday afternoon. We wanted to share it with you all and have it reproduced below with Geoff’s permission.]
It was a difficult day, certainly for Bob Goldblatt, 26 time Loop finisher. But it was brightened by the actions and attitudes of the several people who came to his aid, including the members of the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps; EMT Paul Lyons (I think it was he who was first to arrive; if not, please correct me); and Park Superintendent Jeff Main.
I’d like to especially mention the two women, a nurse and a doctor, who stopped running and stayed with Bob until help arrived and then helped to get him off the trail and to the ambulance. I am very remiss in not getting or remembering their names. If they or their friends are reading this, I hope they will contact you and identify themselves. The nurse said she worked at Maimonides Hospital and either lived on or was from Staten Island. Both are deserving of special thanks and recognition.
I hope you don’t mind me relating my experience from yesterday. First, for those who don’t know Bob, he’s soon to be 83 years old and ran the first loop in 1987 at 46+. You might remember when he fell on the trail in 2016 about a mile from the finish and completely tore the tendon above his right knee. We got word ahead to the LVAC but the trail was too rocky and narrow for them to get an ATV all the way to him. So we had to carry him on a stretcher to get to the ATV. When he was on the stretcher he laughed and told us not to put the sheet over his face because he wasn’t finished quite yet. Another time I saw him before the start and he had a big brace on his knee and couldn’t run. He told me he had been running on the Chicago waterfront, tripped, and tore his ACL. But that didn’t stop him.
So yesterday, after flying up from Florida, he was again running ahead of me about a mile into the race and again fell and tore the same right knee tendon. I stayed with him and so did the nurse and doctor who had been running a short distance behind. Someone called 911 to say we were about a mile into the race. Bob then told them they could leave. The nurse said “I’m a nurse. I’m not going to leave you.” This time when the EMT arrived we had to lift and carry Bob a short distance to the ATV but we had to carry him over the same slippery rocks he had fallen on and that was difficult. We got him into the back of the ATV but couldn’t put the tailgate up so had to walk behind it up a steep hill in case he started to slide out. We eventually got to what I believe is the Bergfield area where he could be transferred to the ambulance.
The nurse and doctor were terrific in providing guidance and otherwise helping, and when Bob was finally placed in the ambulance I asked if they wanted to resume running the course with me. I think this was at least an hour after the last runners had passed. They said they couldn’t because there were people waiting for them at the finish. (But maybe they were just being polite and really just didn’t want to run as slow as I was going.) Anyway, I then ran by myself because I didn’t want our friend Kenny to say I was a d.n.f. Even though he’s done a bunch of 100-milers, we’ve all agreed that any race I do when he doesn’t show up counts as a win for me.
When running the course yesterday I must have fallen or slipped 10 times in the mud and later told Jim and Gary that I guess if something happened to me, I’d still be out there. I was thinking at times that when running by myself instead of in the big group, it’s easier to appreciate the wonderful forest, wetland, and river environments but maybe if I had paid more attention to the trail I wouldn’t have done a completely submerged faceplant into one of the big pools in the mudflats. Then I had to wade into the stream before the big hill to try to wash the mud off my face and out of my eyes and ears.
Thanks for indulging me with this story. Bob is not only a good runner but also one of the toughest people I can think of and a remarkably calm and good natured person. We all wish him a speedy recovery. And the attitudes and actions of the nurse and doctor were very much uplifting and a tribute to them and the running community. I hope we can learn their names so they can be properly thanked and recognized by the Loop Team.
Talk with you later. Thanks again and please stay well.