Ben Lawksy, friend of Nazareth Housing, is running a solo ultra marathon on November 1, 2020. Ben is raising funds to support Nazareth Housing and our work serving vulnerable New Yorkers. We interviewed Ben about his run, why he chose Nazareth Housing, and what he is looking forward to while running 31 tough miles!
Nazareth Housing: How did you come to the decision to run an ultramarathon during a pandemic?
Ben Lawsky: I was in the final stages of training for my first ultra marathon when the pandemic shut things down. My race, which was scheduled for May, was first moved to September, and then later cancelled. This was obviously disappointing but I kept training and eventually decided to design my own course and turn my solo race into a fundraiser for a great cause.
NH: What made you choose Nazareth Housing as the beneficiary for your fundraising?
BL: I wanted to choose an organization that I knew was well run and that in my view was doing something really crucial during these difficult times. Helping to feed families and children who don’t have enough to eat, for me, is one of the most important things I think we can do. Having enough to eat is so foundational to everything else and the notion that there are millions of people in our great country who don’t have enough to eat is mind boggling to me and just awful. We are better than that and I wanted the fundraising around my run to focus on helping people in this way.
NH: 30 miles will take a while! What will you be thinking about during your run?
BL: 31 miles to be exact! The trails are pretty difficult so it is important to stay present and focus on staying upright during much of the run. On the less difficult sections I often think about my family and how lucky I am. This often brings me back to thinking about how important it is to help others who have not been so lucky. And I will admit I sometimes just sing corny songs to myself.
NH: What are you looking forward to the most about the ultra marathon?
BL: I’m looking forward first to testing my limits since this is a new distance for me. It is farther and more difficult than any race I have ever done. My whole family is involved so that will also be fun — my wife is the race director, my daughter is in charge of food and first aid, and my son is the official timer. The fundraising part of things has just begun, but assuming that goes well I am also looking forward to the meaning and motivation that will add to the race.