Turn Back the Clock Thursday
When I think about who inspired me to be a runner, the first person that comes to mind is my dad, Tony Velsmid. My dad has always lived an active lifestyle. He was a city letter carrier in Nassau County for 30+ years and has always had a landscaping business after work. Delivering mail and running in triathlons led him to a hip replacement in his mid 40s. He is now almost 62 and is still participating in 1-2 triathlons a year! His doctor told him no more running so he asked if he could run 3 miles a year. The doctor’s response was “I guess so. 3 miles is nothing throughout an entire year”. So, each year, it is tradition that we participate in the TOBAY Triathlon together and he kinda run/walks the 5k at the end.
Being that my dad is into competitive sports, he is my biggest cheerleader at many of the local races. During this past NYC Marathon, he parked in Manhattan and rode his bicycle to Brooklyn to follow me along the course. I think I saw him a total of 5 times between Brooklyn and Manhattan. During the 18 Mile Central Park race, he would bike loops around the park with David Rockitter and I, encouraging us to keep going even though we felt like gerbils on their caged wheel running in circles. Long Island Marathon? He’s the guy on the corner of Jericho and Post Avenue camping out with a folding chair, coffee, and a cowbell cheering on the elite and then eventually cheering me on. Sometimes if I have a long training run and I’m running 20 miles alone, he’ll meet me halfway and bike along side next to me with water, a banana, basically anything I needed. I hope you all get to meet him some day! He is truly an inspiration!