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Running for life, finishing with a smile

Pittsford, N.Y. - Running is not unlike life.

There are good runs. And of course, bad runs. There are turns you dont see coming.
There are marathons.

Rick Crawshaw of Pittsford never thought hed finish one. Rick ran cross country in high school, but it was at age 50 when he started to train for marathons.

After training, one marathon turned into two and two rolled into three.

I kind of evolved into it, Rick said.

Rick has now run 49 marathons, in 49 states many of them with his son, Scott.

Ive enjoyed it enough that its not really a question of being hard, Rick explained.
Along the way, the runner also became a coach.

Enter Kelly Nash, who was overweight, and looking for a change.

Rick really demonstrated to me that I really have a lot more in me than I realized, Kelly said.

Rick found great joy in helping others, telling us: It is a thrill helping other people go through it.

But not long after he began helping train others, Ricks run hit the sharpest of turns.

Ricks son Mark had died.

It was sudden. His eldest son a lover of music and stage was gone.

To Rick, there was no choice to put one foot in front of another.

It is where he felt solace.

Stopping was not the answer.

Rick kept running marathons.

When asked which marathon was his favorite Rick would give the humble answer: The next one.

This next one, though, is the exception.

In January, Rick will head to Hawaii to complete his 50th marathon in his 50th state.

This will be something weve done specifically in memory of Mark, Rick said. My goal at the start of each marathon is to finish with a smile, and this one will be to finish with some smile and some tears.

At the end with the good and the bad behind you what else is there to do?

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Washington Times