Reisch fifth in his age group in NYC Marathon
SALISBURY — Salisbury resident Norman Reisch finished fifth in the men’s 80 to 89 age group in the recent New York City Marathon. A dentist who retired from practice 10 years ago, Reisch said, “I did wonderful as an 80 year old. The weather was absolutely perfect, it was never cold and I never broke out in a sweat. It was a real fun event.”According to the official marathon results, Reisch completed the course in 6:22.43. Due to knee problems, Reisch can no longer run but did walk the entire course at an overall speed of 14.37 minutes per mile.Reisch was one of two entrants from this country who finished in the top five of the age group. The first-place entrant was from Japan and finished the marathon in 3:56:30. Second place went to a runner from Brazil with a 4:38.09 time. Third came in at 6:05:01 by another American entrant. Fourth place went to a French entrant at 6:07:22.Reisch’s first marathon was in New York City in 1977. Before this year’s race, he had competed in four other N.Y.. marathons. He reported, “My last N.Y.C. marathon prior to this year was in 1982 when I finished in 3:12 at age 51. I needed a 3:20 to qualify for the Boston Marathon so my 3:12 in New York got me in.”“However,” Reisch said, “three weeks before the Boston marathon I was running 15 miles every night and blew my knee out.”Before this year’s New York marathon, Reisch had participated in four in New York, one in Boston and one, the Marine Corps Marathon, in Washington, D.C., the last one being in 1982.In 1990 Reisch had knee surgery and was told he could no longer run. Though being a dentist, Reisch was not one to always listen to his doctors. Last year he finally gave up running, but still walks better than 4 miles per hour.This past May Reisch read an article in the New York Times about an 82-year-old man who completed the New York marathon in 8:02, “The more I thought about that it dawned on me that I could do that.” In fact, he bested that time by almost 2 hours. It was the first time Reisch walked, rather than ran, a marathon. He said, “Walking makes a big difference. When running you’re concerned abut your pace, you want to be sure not to burn yourself out at the beginning. Walking was a whole different feeling. I walked as fast as I could walk without race walking.”By the time he decided to enter the marathon, regular entry spots were closed. Being determined, Reisch found a charity, Team for Kids, that still had openings and he could enter under their sponsorship if he raised $2,620 for them. Feeling he could not ask friends and family members to donate to something for his benefit, Reisch made the required donation of $100 per mile himself.Reisch said he trained for the N.Y.C. marathon by doing a lot of fast walking, “To my surprise I completed it much faster than I thought I would.”Reisch said 10 miles from the finish line his daughter had planned to jump in and finish the race with him. That was at 72nd Street on First Avenue. “I could see a cop was trying to hold her back and not let her in. I saw she was negotiating with the cop so I yelled out, ‘I’m 80 years old and she is my nurse so let her in.’ He did.”While walking with Reisch, his daughter carryied an iPhone with an app that allowed her to time his walking in real time.