For Mineola resident Alex Eisen, running was always a way to relieve stress and anxiety. Now, the avid long-distance runner has turned his newfound hobby into something much more meaningful. He’s planning to run 30 miles for his upcoming 30th birthday in a campaign to give back to local hospitals that are combating the deadly coronavirus.
“Running has always been a release for me and an activity that I look forward to,” Eisen, who is also a fourth grade teacher at John J. Daly Elementary School in the Port Washington School District, said. “No matter the distance, it has become part of who I am. I suppose I got interested from my days as a kid playing youth sports, which included hockey, baseball, tennis and soccer. I have always been interested and enjoyed playing athletic activities and, as I grew up, it was running that grew on me the most. I still play tennis, which you guessed it, involves a lot of running.”
Eisen has already impressively completed 11 marathons in 10 states including two New York City marathons.
“My first marathon was the New York City Marathon in 2015,” Eisen said. “I wasn’t quite sure how much I was going to enjoy running 26.2 miles. Long story short, I was hooked the moment I crossed the finished line. The next day, sore from head to toe, I registered for my next marathon in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I have run marathons in New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Texas and most recently in Alabama, where I set a new personal record of three hours and five minutes. The NYC Marathon is my favorite so far. It’s home after all.
“However, running the Las Vegas strip at night under the lights was a very cool experience as was the Chicago Marathon. What makes every marathon unique and special is that each race has a story and many memories. My long-term goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states, the six major marathons in New York City, Chicago, Boston, London, Tokyo, Berlin and a marathon on every continent, even Antarctica.”
Eisen has already mapped out his 30-mile route that will take him around Long Island to places that mean a lot to him.
“I am carefully running a route in and around my neighborhood of Mineola, and neighboring towns and villages,” Eisen said. “My route will eventually take me to Port Washington before I swing on back home and complete the 30th mile at home sweet home, which is the perfect place to have a finish line.”
Eisen, who is raising money for NYU Langone hospitals, particularly NYU Winthrop Hospital, said that he was inspired to take on his running campaign because of the incredible heroes that are currently working on the front lines.
“As a Mineola resident, Winthrop is my home hospital,” Eisen said. “They have helped me before. For my 30th birthday, I am making it my mission to help them and the rest of the NYU Langone family. During these unsettling times, we must look out for one another and support one another. I am a Liverpool F.C. supporter and our motto is ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’ I want to make sure our health care heroes know they will never walk alone during this pandemic.”
If people would like to donate to Eisen’s cause, they can visit his GoFundMe page, www.gofundme.com/f/my-30th-birthday-pledge-to-nyu-langone-hospitals, which has already raised more than $8,500 at the time of publication.
“I greatly appreciate any contribution and support,” he said. “Every dollar raised will go directly to the NYU Langone hospital system. I also hope everyone who visits my campaign will share the page with their family, friends and associates and ask them to do the same. The more people who discover this campaign the more successful it will be, and the more we can help our heroes at NYU Langone. I have set a goal of $30,000. It is only fitting being that I am turning 30 years old. However, the goal is to raise as much money as possible. I am truly grateful for whatever amount I end up raising because I know every dollar raised will greatly help and assist the NYU Langone hospital system. This is not just my goal, but my 30th birthday wish, which is to help those who are most in need.”
Eisen also thanked his family and friends for their continued support.
“I truly appreciate their love, support and help to make my 30th birthday the most meaningful one yet,” Eisen said. “Also, I want to give a special shout out to the entire Daly Elementary School community and Team 203 in Port Washington. With schools closed, I truly miss my students and the Daly family. It is an honor to run for our heroes at NYU Langone. This will be my most important run yet.”