Something amazing happened in Portsmouth, NH yesterday. Portsmouth is a little seacoast town of 20,000 people. It borders Greenland a town of 3,500. It is a beautiful and peaceful part of the country. Homes are rarely locked neighbors all know each other. Violent crime is simply not part of the vocabulary of life on this seacoast.
On April 12, in Greenland, police chief Michael Maloney and four other police officers were shot by a crazed gunman. Officer Maloney was set to retire this month but the bullet that struck him ended his life. I didn’t know officer Maloney but all accounts describe him as a wonderful man. It is a tragedy that shocked the region and left many with a deep streak of sadness.
The wake of the horrific event left Portsmouth police officer Bob Lukacz wanting to blow off some steam while paying tribute to Michael Maloney. He and his wife Christine decided a running race would be a good way to do that. He emailed fellow officers hoping “to run with no less than 15 people.”
What started with a small goal rapidly transformed into a road race with over 2,200 runners. In only about a weeks’ time, with the help of Millennium Running (a road race management company) and about 100 volunteers, they put on an incredibly successful race. This commendable effort provided an opportunity for the community to act on its grief by coming together while raising close to $50,000 for the Michael Maloney foundation. I have never heard of a race being conceived, organized and successfully executed with more than 2000 runners in just a few days. Congratulations to all that helped organize the event and to the 2,200 runners that were all winners in this race. I am proud to say I live in Portsmouth, NH!
Many more pictures can be viewed here