Jeff Benjamin wrote this piece on one of our favorite scribes, Toni Reavis. Toni just won the George Hirsh Award for Journalism for 2022. Toni Reavis has commented on the sport via the written word, the digital world, and TV and radio for four decades. He is one of the people who love the sport enough to give it criticism
Toni Reavis Is Honored – And He Sends It Right Back!
By Jeff Benjamin
Originally known throughout the northeastern area, Commentator Toni Reavis came “running” across the rest of the country during the 1980s, notably on the ESPN shows “Running & Racing” and “Road Race Of The Month”, drawing in many with his signature voice as well as his encyclopedic knowledge of the Sport.
Reavis, a pioneer who still commentates and writes about Running/Track & Field, was honored last week with the annual George Hirsch Journalism Award at the New York Road Runners “Night of Champions.”
For Reavis, who, in drawing in the viewers and readers, always possessed a strong spirit of inclusiveness, it was not at all surprising that he’d conclude his honorarium acknowledgments with a poem, once again showing how not only he but every one of us, are involved in the world’s greatest sport!
Here is Toni’s poem –
“This was inspired by my own years as a runner and from covering the marathon and seeing how deeply the event connected people across the human spectrum,” said Reavis.
The Measure of the NYC Marathon
“With so much opposition all around us,
When everyone seems against this thing or that,
And the ties that once bound us in the union,
Hang tattered, threatening to trip us off track,
We come upon the TCS New York City Marathon,
This grand, democratizing event,
To renew our faith in what’s possible, and
Reconnect us with what we best represent.
Revealing those qualities that mark us as human,
Each in our own flawed way,
As we strive to ennoble our station,
While holding time’s ravages at bay.
By taking on this difficult pleasure,
That no amount of money can buy,
That can only be earned through the doing,
Even as cynics continue to ask why.
But to those who take up this Challenge,
Knowing fully it’s quixotic at best,
Fruition won’t be found at the finish,
Nor when a medal hangs proudly upon their chest.
But in reckoning with their own limitations,
Neither seeking to dismiss nor deny,
But instead to engage with in full measure,
With thousands of like travelers whereby,
In passing through this arc of five boroughs,
Sharing only in the language of stride,
They come to the simple understanding,
I am you. You are me, side-by-side.
And thus, we return to where we started,
Where challenges lie great for us all,
But now stripped of preconceived notions,
Of what should be,
Or could be our fall,
We come to gauge the depths that will define us,
To reconsider what we thought we could do,
As we scan ahead the horizon,
For new windmills to come tilting into view.”
So very true!
Bell Lap –Toni Reavis has also just finished a remarkable tribute book about his parents, total strangers separated by language and culture who survived through the ravages of the Second World War due to an almost immediate, undying love for one another!
To purchase a copy of Reavis’ book – BISIA & ISHAM: The Countess & the P.O.W.
Go to –