Coronavirus News: LI teacher runs 30 miles for 30th birthday, raising money for hospital

PORT WASHINGTON, Nassau County (WABC) -- The streets haven't been this loud in quite a while in Port Washington.

But they were making some noise for Alex Eisen, who certainly knows how to bring out the best in people. Mr. Eisen is a 4th-grade teacher at John Daly Elementary.

He's run 11 marathons so far in his life, and Tuesday is his 30th birthday -- so he wanted to mark the occasion.

"I said, 'You know what? Let me put my running to good use,'" he said. "It's something that I love to do. It's brought me so much joy and comfort."

Eisen is topping his marathon distance by running 30 miles in honor of his 30th in between Mineola and Port Washington and back. He's making sure to circle around the school at least five times.

In the process, he raised more than $10,000 for health care workers at NYU Langone Hospitals as they bravely battle COVID-19 from the frontline.

"You know, it's unsettling times," he said. "It's a time when we have to look out for one another."

His current students and some former ones were out to support him.

"Weird, it's really weird," student Eli Tessler said. "Because we haven't gone to school in like two months."

The school has been closed since March 13

"It's hard for everybody, but he's making the most of it, like we all have to," mom Emily Tessler said.

It was also a bittersweet experience for principal Dr. Sheri Suzzan, seeing Eisen but also seeing some of the students for the first time in a while.

"I'm a little choked up over the whole experience," she said. "Just hope, hope that we're all staying connected and we're all staying positive."

It's giving new meaning to "distance learning" and proving that the best teachers can still get some great lessons in no matter where they are.

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