BY JERRY MILANI
The reasons why they do it are as numerous and diverse as the thousands of runners who will line up at Monmouth Park on Sunday to compete in the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon, produced by Life Time –The Healthy Way of Life Company. From personal stories of overcoming diseases, to selfless supporting of a cause close to their hearts, to fitness or just plain wanting to run, competitors in the Marathon, Long Branch Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay and ShapingNJ 5K at Monmouth Park shared some of their motivations as they prepared to hit the pavement at the Jersey Shore next weekend.
Several athletes discussed their stories tinged in tragedy but with messages of hope. Scott Fleming, 46, of Florham Park, is the captain of the Friendly Runners' “Return of the Elvii” team. A runner and triathlete since 2003, Fleming has competed in more than 30 marathons and triathlons, some – including the New Jersey Marathon – dressed up as Elvis along with friends. Fleming was diagnosed in June with a motor neuron disease called Progressive Muscular Atrophy, similar to ALS.