Brooklyninte and doctor to race in NYC Marathon for 30th, and perhaps, final time

This Bay Ridgeite is proof that life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

The New York City Marathon is known as the largest marathon in the world. In 2013, an impressive 50,304 contestants finished the race. But for one Brooklynite, the event holds a special meaning.

Sixty-five-year-old Dr. Michael Dealy, a co-head at Bay Ridge Prep, has participated in the marathon for an impressive 29 years. On Sunday, November 2, Dealy will race for the 30th and, perhaps final time.

“That’s the plan. I figure that after 30 years, I could take a break and just watch it,” said Dealy.

For Dealy, the marathon simply doesn’t mean finishing a race. He finds it therapeutic. “When you’re consistently doing something like long distance running, which can get lonely, you get a good chance to think about life and meditate. Then you come back to the real world when you’re done and you feel much more at ease make decisions. It keeps you in a great perspective of things. I don’t run for time, I run for experience.”

During his decades of participating in the New York City Marathon, preparation has come easier than it has for most. “It takes a lot of time to prepare. For me, it takes two months to get ready. Most people take a year but since I’ve done it so many times, my body and mind more in tune,” he said. He also teaches taekwondo, which has kept him in top shape.

As far as a special diet for preparing? “I drink Coca-Cola for the energy,” he joked. “I don’t do a special diet, but I find the more I train, the less I feel like eating.”
Being a contestant in the marathon for so long (although he’s done other races, Dealy has stuck with New York City), one is bound to have favorite memories and stories.

“Maybe my first time doing the marathon was my favorite, “he said. “I also remember stories of people I helped along the way who collapsed and were too depressed to go on.”

However, during one marathon, it was Dealy that was in need of help. “One year, people ran across street, banged into me and knocked me down accidentally. My legs were shot and I ended up on a stretcher,” he said. He eventually got up, dunked ice on top of himself after he collapsed a second time and was able to finish the race. “I was in extreme pain, but once you finish, you feel great.”

Although he has said this race will be his last, Dealy’s left the door open to return to the marathon once again. “I hope it’s not my final one forever and that I can jump in, in a year or two,” he said. “I’m always scared at the end of race because it’s over. I’m unhappy because the experience is incredible. The more you do it, the younger you get.”

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