By Scott Jarosz ’21
Joe Rezuke ’21, from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, recently participated in the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 4. Rezuke says he earned the opportunity to run in the marathon with the Home Base Foundation, a charity that is partnered with the Red Sox Foundation and works to help Veterans, Service Members, and their families who struggle with the mental effects of war.
According to the marathon’s official website, nyrr.org, the NYC Marathon is the world’s largest, with over 52,000 competitors in 2018. Of those who participated, 30,657 were men, and 22,151 were women. The average finish time for the marathon was 4:26:54 for men and 4:53:49 for women.
Rezuke finished the marathon with an impressive time of 3:35:42. He averaged a pace of 8:14 per mile and placed 15 out of 82 for the 19-year-old age group.
Rezuke discussed that the marathon was a rewarding experience. “It was a good time. Leading up to it, a lot of people say it’s one of the most beautiful races. It was really cool to run through all five boroughs (of New York City).”
Rezuke added that the incredible atmosphere of the runners and fans amplified the experience. “Everyone being there and screaming with a ton of runners was just a crazy experience.”
Although performing well is important for many marathon runners, it is certainly not the only reason to run a marathon. For a lot of runners, there are other contributing factors that motivate them to participate in a marathon and this was the case for Rezuke.
TCS New York City Marathon was not his first race, as he ran in the Boston Marathon back in 2017. Rezuke turned 18 years old just two days prior to the Boston Marathon and was the youngest person to participate that year.
Rezuke admitted that being the youngest person to compete in the entire marathon was certainly a contributing factor but cited a more important reason to run. “The charity I ran for was Be Like Brit. It’s an orphanage in Haiti and my family is really involved with that because my dad grew up with the owner of the orphanage.”
Rezuke said that he has been to Haiti three or four times and that this charity is very special to him. “Just having the opportunity to run for that organization that’s so close to home and that I’m really involved with, I immediately wanted to do it.”
Be Like Brit is a foundation that was created in honor of Britney Gengel, a native of Rutland, Massachusetts who passed away at 19 years-old after an earthquake struck Haiti in 2010 that killed approximately 300,000 people. Gengel was in Haiti with her school, Lynn University, compassionately serving children who were living in poverty.
The Be Like Brit Foundation was started by Gengel’s family to continue her mission by building an orphanage in Haiti that welcomes impoverished children and makes them a part of their family. Given the mission of this foundation and Rezuke’s relationship with its founders, it is easy to see why Rezuke was so eager to participate in this marathon. Not only was he able to be the youngest person to run in the Boston Marathon, but he was also doing so on behalf of a foundation that is special to him.
Rezuke plans to run more marathons in the future. “I definitely want to do more. The big six marathons are Tokyo, Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston, and New York. I definitely want to complete that because that’s a huge accomplishment for marathon runners.” Ultimately, Rezuke would like to compete in some Ironman competitions and push himself to see how well he can place.