Running 200 miles in Central Park to fight cancer

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Amy Freeze has the details on a Chappaqua man running for 48 hours non-stop for 200 miles in Central Park to raise moeny for cancer. (WABC)

A Chappaqua man is running for the next 48 hours non-stop in Central Park to raise money for cancer.

It's his second attempt at jaw dropping goal to run 33 laps around the park.

By most accounts, Eric Gelber is your average runner in Central Park. He's a husband, father of 3 and works in commercial real estate.

His goal is anything but typical: run 200 miles by Sunday morning to raise money to cure cancer.

"Doing it for a bigger purpose has changed what running means to me. It's not just personal. There's a lot more to it, and I just really feel like I am doing something to make a difference," Gelber said.

A friend's cancer battle got him motivated to help, but multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. So the struggle continues with valiant efforts.

"The MMRF is a game changing cancer organization. The work that we are doing is changing the way cancer research is being done. The research model that we have, that demands collaboration and opens up data to a worldwide network of people, is really setting the tone for other cancer research," Alicia O'Neill, director of endurance events at MMRF, said.

Eric knows running won't cure cancer, but funding the research can.

"The foundation has made amazing strides over the years, bringing 6 new drugs to market in just 15 years. They've started 15 new trials," he said. "Life expectancy has gone from 18 months to 3 years to 5, 10 and I know people who have survived for 15 years now. They're just doing incredible things."

Every lap a runner from the pharmaceutical company Celgene will run with Eric and survivors are cheering him on!


"When someone tells me I'm saving life, or thank you, or gives me a hug. It doesn't get better than that," Gelber said.

An orange tent at Engineer's Gate on the East Side is home base. His wife is the pit crew chief.

"(He's looking for) Hydration, nutrition, sun block, salt tabs," Tani Gelber said. "He likes cantaloupe. He likes chips. He might ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich sometimes."

So the course for the next 48 hours is the hilly 6 mile course.

"If you've never run park at midnight, this is your chance. It's really quite a thrill," O'Neill said.

He plans to finish on Sunday morning.

For more information and to donate, please visit www.active.com/donate/mmrf200miles2014 or themmrf.org/200miles.

Related Topics:
healthcancerrunningUpper East Side
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