The government shutdown that started on Oct. 1 has hit close to home.
Junior Kenny Lenoci has been training for the past 12 weeks in preparation for the New Jersey (Longbranch) Half Marathon. The race been held for 41 years, Lenoci said. As of Wednesday, the race was in jeopardy of being called off.
The Gateway National Recreation Area in New Jersey, location of the half marathon, is closed this week, like all other national parks.
“I actually found out this afternoon from a friend of mine who was also planning on running in the race,” Lenoci said. According to Lenoci, those in charge of the race never sent out any emails with updates, so he resorted to following the race’s website for new information.
The next update will be on Friday and according to Lenoci, those in charge of the race said if the government is still shut down by then, they will have to cancel this year’s race.
“Right now, the government shutdown is a real negative point for our country, but I’m hopeful that something good can come from this,” Lenoci said. “It’s unfortunate that there is such a divide between our political leaders, because if we can’t look to them, then who do we turn to? I would love to see some kind of compromise made by our government be- cause it’s not just affecting a race, but the entire country.”
Lenoci said that not having this race would “definitely be disappointing” for him.
“When you train for that long, you have so many highs and lows, but you keep telling yourself it’s all for a purpose,” he said. “It hasn’t really hit me yet, but life goes on and there will always been more races to run.”
Before this race was in jeopardy, Lenoci already had plans to run a 10K in Paramus, N.J., on Oct. 20, a race he has done a few times in the past. He also plans to complete a marathon sometime in 2014.
Charlotte Lewis can be reached at email@example.com.