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How Sports Adapt: A Marathon Indoors and Drive-In Soccer

German Silva of Mexico came to fame — and nearly infamy — when he turned prematurely into Central Park in the final mile of the 1994 New York City Marathon, realized his mistake, backtracked and still pulled off a victory with a display of calm persistence.

Afterward, he used his race winnings to help bring electricity to his remote home village of Tecomate, in Veracruz, then won New York again in 1995. Now 52, Silva still possesses a keen sense of social responsibility.

On Sunday, he ran 26.2 miles on his treadmill at home in Querétaro, Mexico, urging others to run anywhere from a kilometer to a marathon to honor the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

With friends and marathon luminaries like Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers and Paula Radcliffe cheering him on via Zoom, Silva completed his run in 2 hours 56 minutes, achieving his goal to break three hours. Michael Capiraso, president and chief executive of New York Road Runners, held up a medal in a virtual awards ceremony. John Cahill, a 96-year-old runner, was scheduled to support Silva by running five kilometers, or 3.1 miles, in Salt Lake City.

With more than 160,000 deaths worldwide from Covid-19, economic suffering and millions quarantined at home, Silva said in email messages and a brief interview during his run, “The world needs motivation and to keep inspired with hope.”


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