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Brooklyn Half Marathon-For Mary Fran

Created by Timothy Daly

Mary Fran Daly

May 17th, 2014

Hi all,

As some of you know, I will be running the Brooklyn Half-Marathon on May 17th. As many of you who know me, completing this race will be quite entertaining. Long distance running to me typically involves sprinting to the closest bar for a pint and a cheeseburger. To provide some additional context, I ran a 5K last week and was beat by an 8 year old. On May 17th, I’ll be shooting to finish by nightfall. Nevertheless, I have set my mind to doing this for two important reasons:

#1- I will be running to raise funds in support of the Colon Cancer Alliance. This is an amazing not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating millions of people about colon cancer each year and increasing early screenings and survivorship.Colon Cancer is in the top 3 of cancer deaths but is also one of the most preventable. You can find out more about the Colon Cancer Alliance as well as other ways you can show your support through the links on the left.

#2 - I am running in honor of my late mother, Mary Fran Daly, my hero.

There's Something About Mary

My mom is the greatest person I have ever known. She was full of so much joy and love, even when life dealt her some pretty bad cards. She taught my siblings & I how to take the cards you're dealt and keep on playing. She taught us that no matter what -family, friends & faith always get you through the tough times, and you're never alone. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 1997. It is a testament to her unending courage and spirit that she continued to smile, laugh and enjoy life for 14 more years. She passed away 3 years ago as of last week.

My mother lived a life filled with strength, love, loyalty, friendship, passion, patience, grace, and dignity.

Strength because she battled life’s challenges with laughter & determination and never gave up.

Love because she cared for everyone and anyone she met..from the mailman to the doctors that took such good care of her…and most especially, my father.

Loyalty to everyone she met in the many places we lived, even if she hadn’t seen them in years. She made everyone she met feel comfortable and special.

Passion for adventure and helping others. This passion led her to volunteer as a nurse in the Vietnam War.

Patience for having 6 kids. This could be considered a small company in some countries and may even be illegal to do now? My siblings and I certainly tested that patience on more than one occasion.

Grace for the way she handled herself so elegantly in all situations and for always seeing the good in people.

Dignity for the way she embraced her final days with courage and acceptance.

My mother’s spirit lives on in each of our smiles, laughter, hugs, and kisses. She is an angel in heaven and was an angel on earth. We miss you mom and think of you all the time.

I plan to finish all 13.1 miles on May 17th, with each mile representing another year she fought to smile, laugh and cry with us…and to help raise funds for the Colon Cancer Alliance, an organization my mom was very fond of.
After the race, I’ll drink a couple glasses of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, just for her.

To conclude, a favorite phrase my mom used to say
-“When life hands you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade. When life hands me lemons, I’ll stick them in my bra.”

I think that’s a great approach to life, don’t you?

My tributes fund will help the Colon Cancer Alliance in their mission to end this preventable disease.

Thank you for all of your support.


Anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 runners take to the streets of Brooklyn and cross the finish line each year at the annual running of this borough's installment of the Five-Borough Half Marathon Series, organized by the New York Road Runners club -- which also organizes the famed New York City Marathon each fall, and the New York City Half Marathon in the spring.

The Brooklyn half marathon is the second in a series of five 13.1-mile races in each of New York's five boroughs throughout the year, and takes runners on a course that winds past, alongside and through many of Brooklyn's most famous sights and attractions, including Prospect Park, the New York Aquarium and the Coney Island boardwalk, where they'll finish the race overlooking the beach.

Fast and largely flat (with the exception of some hilly terrain inside Prospect Park), the race follows a point-to-point route that starts just outside the northeast corner of Prospect Park, one of New York's true parkland jewels. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead -- who also designed its more famous counterpart across the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan, Central Park -- the 585-acre park's history dates all the way back to the Civil War era (it was built in the 1860s), and today it is an urban oasis of huge green meadows, trees, forests and lakes in the midst of one of the densest cities in the U.S.

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