MANHATTAN – The New York City Marathon returns to the streets of the Upper East Side this Sunday after a one-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic— and this year, among the 30-thousand runners who will be pounding the pavement across the five boroughs will be two health care heroes hailing from the Upper East Side who are running with purpose —who pushed themselves to the brink in service of our community.
In the early morning hours this Sunday, November 7th, runners from all over the globe will make their way to Staten Island. There, they’ll wait with anticipation for the starting gun to go off. They’ll wait to see their friends and families at cheering locations spread across the city, and they’ll wait to see how they fare after months, or sometimes years, of grueling training runs.
Internal Medicine Resident Kool Ghosh, who treats patients at Metropolitan Hospital on East 97th Street, tells Upper East Site his inspiration for running in the NYC Marathon is for international medical graduates who he says “were and are a huge part of the New York health system, especially in city hospitals.”
Several colleagues even lost their lives, says Ghosh, and on November 7th, he wishes to “respect their sacrifices and complete the race.”
Sally Caldwell, a nurse anesthetist at Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side, works grueling ten-hour shifts in the hospital before training for the 26.2 mile run— but Sally tells Upper East Site that putting in the work has brought her peace through these especially difficult times.
“Training has been my solace from all the madness,” Caldwell told us.
“During COVID, I was working night shifts and intubating COVID patients. I found so much peace in Central Park during that time. And that’s where I’ve done all my training.”
Sally is running for Team for Kids, thanks to donations from friends and family.
“I think running is a great thing for kids, it definitely was for me when I got into it in high school. It teaches you a lot about discipline and being strong not only physically, but mentally.”
Both Caldwell’s and Ghosh’s inspirations should come as a surprise to almost nobody. After all, it takes a special kind of person to work in healthcare, especially during this Covid-19 era of isolation, suffering and death.
It’s easy to get annoyed by the road closure— First Avenue will be shut down to pedestrians, vehicles, and cyclists between East 59th and East 125th Streets, so don’t even think about trying to cross— as well as the decked-out spectators, some of them day drinking— but to 30-thousand runners, this moment has been a long time coming.
⚠️ ADVISORY UPDATE: During this year’s @nycmarathon on Sunday, November 7th please note the following:— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) November 3, 2021
From approx. 8am-5pm, pedestrians, vehicles, and cyclists may NOT cross 1st Avenue from East 59th to East 125th Street, NYC. Please make arrangements now, to plan your day. pic.twitter.com/nP61qj0Ejp
Runners hit the Upper East Side between miles sixteen and seventeen, just when the going starts to get tough. So please consider heading out to First Avenue and giving Kool and Sally a shout.
Individual runners can also be tracked through New York Road Runners. You may even find yourself getting emotional, too. And who knows, maybe you’ll find some inspiration of your own.