26.2 Miles and a Cloud of Dust

Posted: 8 November by Brett Hoover in Alumni, Penn
Tags: ,

Even though I am growing old, I am still pretty good with names. Yet I don’t know everyone that has been a part of the Heps Nation.

When a comment on the ING New York City Marathon post said that the 22nd-place finisher, Michael Cassidy of Staten Island, was a former Penn runner, it didn’t ring any bells. In fact, I was skeptical. But after a good bit of Googling, I was satisfied that Cassidy was the same guy who ran for the Quakers four years ago.

But the reason I was unfamiliar with the name was because he was not among the contenders at Heps. In 2004 and 2005, he ran at the League’s cross country championships, but didn’t finish in the top half of the standings. Cassidy ran the 5k at the 2005 Indoor Heps, but finished 18th of 23 runners.

Now the intention of this post is not to question his college career, but to marvel at his post-graduate success as a marathoner. He has now competed in three New York City Marathons and, of the tens of thousands who lace up the shoes for the brisk fall run, Cassidy has never finished worse than 50th. He was 37th in his first try in 2008 and 50th a year ago.

This time out he was the sixth American across the Central Park finish line in 2:24:05, not far behind the likes of former champion Meb Keflezighi and the sensational Dathan Ritzenhein.

So my apologies to Michael Cassidy for missing him the first time around. Perhaps Heps’ marathons at the Outdoor Championships are in order.

  1. Bob Glover says:

    Indeed this is the same Mike Cassidy. It has been a pleasure to work with him along with several of his former UPENN teammates. Mike works a full time+ job and balances this with his girlfriend and his training. He is proof of my longtime contention that too many runners are burned out in the system and never achieve their potential post-college. Only distance runners compete at the same sport three seasons a year in high school and college.

    Mike ran 5:30 pace almost every step of the way, as planned. Along the way he took down some former high school and college stars (Colorado and Georgetown included). They weren’t in sight in his college races. He was out of their sight on Sunday.

    Coach Bob

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