"When you run, you log on to yourself. You flip through the pages of your being." KEVIN NELSON, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration
Somers native runs (and runs) for a cure
Brian Hsia, a Somers High School graduate, has been raising money for Alzheimer’s disease research by running marathons.
By Art Cusano
Most people go through life never running one marathon, but Brian Hsia has run 14 in less than three years.
The Somers native, who was a sprinter at Somers High School, completed the Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing the race in three hours and 12 minutes.
“I’m a little sore,” Hsia said the day after the race.While Hsia, an architect with Gruzen-Samton who now lives in the Manhattan, enjoys running, it isn’t the only reason he’s been punishing his body.
Hsia recently lost his grandfather, who had been caring for his wife, Hsia’s grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Boston was the fourth marathon he has run for the Alzheimer’s Association, and plans to run again for the charity in New York later this year.“It gets you through the tougher miles,” Hsia said.
Hsia said he and his teammates raised $1 million for the association, a huge success in this economic downturn.
“It’s just amazing to have that effect in such a strenuous economic year,” Hsia said.Hsia said the loss of his grandfather and the slow deterioration of his grandmother are driving him to push himself harder than ever.
“The death of my grandfather came as a shock to my family, and we were all so worried about the health of my grandmother,” Hsia said. “During the funeral, my grandmother had no reference or clue whose funeral she was attending. This disease is a horrible disease which I never want anyone else’s family to endure.”
While most runners stick to no more than two marathons a year, Hsia said he doesn’t believe in taking too much time off between races because it’s harder to get back into shape. His goal is to eventually run marathons in all 50 states, and already has 12 under his belt.
He’s run several different marathons, but his toughest challenge was the 2007 Chicago Marathon.
The veteran runner was among the thousands on hand when the temperature skyrocketed to over 90 degrees, causing race officials to call off the race before most participants crossed the finish line. He recalls seeing a bank clock reading 91 degrees around mile 20 and not believing his eyes.
“I said to myself, man they must have that really wrong,” Hsia said. “I didn’t believe it. I saw a guy on the floor shaking and holding his leg; it looked like a warzone.”Luckily, Hsia crossed the finish line before the race was called.
Hsia is also involved with the Alzheimer’s Association New York chapter’s Junior Committee, a group of under-40 individuals who raise money and volunteer for the association. In May, Hsia will run in the New Jersey Marathon and in October he will serve as a co-captain of the very first Alzheimer’s charity team in the New York Marathon after trying to get approved by the marathon for several years.
Anyone interested in running on Hsia’s team. You can also follow his running exploits on his blog http:www.crazyarchiasian.blogspot.com.