The Finish Line

Well it’s been a long time coming, but we finally made it, folks. On Sunday I completed the New York City Marathon with a finish time of 4 hours, 16 minutes and 35 seconds, 3 minutes and 22 seconds faster than last year. This was an amazing, exhilarating accomplishment for me, and I couldn’t have done it without the love, generosity, and support of all of you out there.

First I want to shout out Jared & Liza & Nora, Joe, Milan & Analise, Paul & Court, and Evan for coming out and cheering me on during the race. Here’s a shot of the awesome sign Jared and Liza made to give me a boost in Queens:


I don’t have a shot of the crew up in Harlem, but Milan managed to take a couple nice shots of me:


Though no offense to them, but the best face I saw out on the course was at the finish line:


If you weren’t able to make it out to the streets or see me on TV, here’s a nifty thing. ABC 7 posted all of their video of finish line on their website, so you can actually watch me finish! All you have to do is go to this link and scroll down to the 8th video on the page (the one labeled “RACE TIME FROM 4:24:20 THROUGH 5:05:00”). Fast forward to 21 minutes on the video (4:45 on the race clock) and you’ll be able to see me crossing the finish line directly to the right of the clock!

But you know what? That’s not the important part of all this. I wasn’t out there running to bask in the glory of finishing or to get props from all of you. I was running to raise money for HDSA. And that’s what me and my team did.

HDSA had a goal for us this year: $55,000, which is on par with what previous marathon teams had raised. In terms of usefulness, $50,000 would be enough to fund an HD Center of Excellence, one of the locations across the country where those affected with HD can go for treatment, studies, counseling, and genetic testing. It was at a Center of Excellence last year that I went through the process learning that I do not have HD, and the people there were some of the greatest folks I ever met.

We didn’t just hit our goal. In fact, we didn’t even just double it. As a team, we have raised over $125,000. Not only is that a record fundraising high for HDSA, but it also puts them in the top 20 charities in this year’s marathon!

So let’s take a minute and put that money in perspective. That’s not simply enough money to fund two Centers of Excellence. That’s enough money to fund a research scientist dedicated to studying, treating, and curing HD for over a year and a half!

Words cannot express how much good you have done. Because of you, people’s lives will be better. If you would still like to make a donation to support HDSA, you can do so until the end of the year by using the link on this page. Thank you again for all your generosity and support, and I hope to have lots more good news to share soon.

Until then, let’s all keep running.

Posted by Noah Hougland

Noah is a public high school teacher in New York City. He was recently diagnosed as gene-negative for HD and is raising money this year by running the NYC Marathon. Donations to his campaign may be made through the link at the top of the page or the widget on the right.


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