Here’s how I heard about Ed Gold in an email: “Montclair’s nicest orthodontist is running his first marathon in November, and donating every cent he raises to the Montclair Public Library”. A long-time local orthodontist that folks seem to like, a guy who visits local schools to talk to kids about dental health, a man in his 50s running his first marathon in the most pressurized venue possible, and doing it all to raise funds for the Montclair Public Library? What’s not to like?
Gold, who is 56, began running three decades ago while a dental student, and regularly takes part in many local 5K and 10K races. But a full marathon has always been a goal, and he completed two half-marathons this past spring. Now he’s entered in the New York City Marathon on November 4.
On CrowdRise, Gold explains: “I decided that I if could get into the New York City marathon I would train hard and also raise money for a worthy cause. I decided to run for the Montclair Public Library with the hope that the library will help lay the foundation for this generation and future generations to learn and apply their acquired knowledge to help find the cures for diseases that afflict so many of our families and friends.”
As of today, donations total $2,160 and will likely keep rising until the 26.2 mile race takes place. My guess is he may exceed his $5200 goal (and maybe some Barinstanet readers will help?).
I caught up with Gold today, and wasn’t surprised at all to hear the passion in his voice when discussing his upcoming marathon run and why he connected it to the Library. “The Montclair Library is such a great place. My kids (all in college now) spent a lot of time utilizing the library and I had taken part in the Little Reads program a few years back and I just know it’s such a valuable resource.”
Gold trains mostly on the streets of Montclair, where he’s lived and practiced orthodontics for the past 26 years (“26 is a recurring theme!” he says), often alone at 5:15 a.m., but sometimes in the company of other runners who participate, as he does, in various running conditioning programs run by Fleet Feet on Bloomfield Avenue. It was their half-marathon training program which prepared Gold for his two successful attempts at that distance last spring.
“Fleet Feet does so much for people in this community who want to get fit, to help them reach a goal, weather it’s for walking or running; if you want to work up to 5k, whatever, they provide such a great service,” Gold says. On Wednesday mornings, Gold can be found at Brookdale Park doing speed work under the eye of Paul Guiliano, a trainer at Fleet Feet.
Gold also takes part in Fleet Feet’s Sunday morning run of between six and eight miles, in the company of other serious runners, a few of whom will run in New York as well, including Fleet Feet owner John Fabbro. (There are also 5K training programs and runs at shorter distances for less experienced, more casual runners at all levels.)
While the mileage is an important personal goal, Gold sees the marathon run as a chance to do something bigger, thus his Library fundraiser. “It does not matter how much one gives; every little bit helps in a big way. Even kids can donate 10 cents a mile ($2.60) and that would be a great way for them to learn about donating to a good cause,” Gold notes. The rolling list of donors at his site shows that many individuals are donating $26 and couples are signing on for $52 (though others are in the $100 range too).
It seems as if Gold is never still; besides running, he enjoys golf, skiing, hiking, biking, canoeing and gardening, but has put his piano practice and tennis on hold until after November 4. And of course, as a library supporter, he reads.
“Maybe the greatest thing about training for the marathon at my age is that you realize you can focus and work hard and achieve these big goals. It’s pretty cool,” Gold says.
Click on over to Gold’s fundraising page to get details on how you can pitch in, and find out how to follow his progress on race day via mobile technology.