In 2011, Jen (Goebel) Goldstein won the Reggae Marathon. She finished the race in a blistering time of 3:07:56! (Almost 30 minutes faster than the second-place winner.) That was the year I met Jen. We met at the Pasta Party the night before the race and there was talk that she might win the marathon. None of us who were at dinner that night (Paul, Carol, Art, Margaret, and Noelle among others) were truly shocked when we saw her cross the finish line but rather we were in awe of her humbleness when she did so. She proudly displayed her Rita Marley trophy in her house.
Through the powers of social media, Jen and I kept in touch. We’d visit one another on opposite coasts usually during a major race. It’s great when you meet someone when traveling, its even better when you get to visit them throughout the years. Each time we’d see one another, it was like no time had passed and we’d pick up right where we left off.
On November 9th this year, Jen passed away from colon cancer. She was 38 years old and had two young sons. She also leaves behind her husband Adam who she also met on a plane on the way back from a race in Arizona. Theirs was truly a running love story.
After her passing, Paul Josephson decided to dedicate his virtual race to her. Paul completed his 13th Reggae Marathon this year in Spain and did it in Jen’s memory. Following Paul’s lead, I decided to run my virtual Reggae Half Marathon is Jen’s memory too. So my 11th half was completed in my hometown of New York City. It’s evident that Jen made a lasting impression on the people she met throughout her life.
So, this one is for you Jen.