Wednesday, May 04, 2011

For a fellow runner

I've been thinking about Danny Kassap a lot the past few days. It was Monday, election day afternoon, when one of my colleagues at work (a runner) told me that he had passed away, a day after the Sporting Life race.

I think the running community was alerted through email, through Facebook, and a lot of little conversations were had across this city. Toronto, I do truely believe, is well on its way to becoming a runners' city. I've read a lot of touching things about him, from pros to everyday runners who knew him.

Other than mentioning him a few times on this blog, I have marvelled when I have seen him at races. I've been a customer at the Running Room where he worked and there have been times when I have wandered in to buy socks or gels when he'd be ringing in my purchase. I'm too awestruck to have said anything but I have always rooted for Danny. I think for those of us runner nerds, he was our very own local hero.

He had his hardships, gaining acceptance, gaining citizenship, overcoming that horrible day in Berlin. Still, from what all I've read, he LOVED to run. In that, I see the connection that those of us at the back of the back share.

I am so sad for the loss -- and to all he touched. It's helped me gain a lot of perspective, even tonight as I ran on the trails that he had as well. Cherish life. Live your passions. Don't let a day pass without remembering the simple joys. For Danny, at least I know there is something I can give back, so I did. And I encourage you to as well.

6 comments:

lee said...

Very well put. This is a tremendous loss for the Toronto running community. Danny will be missed...

Laura said...

Well said and such a loss for the running community.

Marlene said...

Such a sad loss for Toronto and the running community. :(

marie said...

We'll miss his laugh and smile at Commerce Court for sure.
He was an amazing person.

Robin said...

Great post. I agree with you totally. I work in Commerce Court and a frequent visitor at the store downstairs. Used to go in and chat with Danny all the time, and he always made me laugh. "I'm going to stand at the top of the hill at ATB and yell at everyone who's walking"....lol... A truly nice guy with a whole bunch of potential. I was looking forward to following his journey. Sadness.

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