On Sunday, September 24th, students, teachers, friends, and family of Ramapo student Ben Landel came together to run a race. Sponsored by the Wyckoff Family YMCA and the Franklin Lakes Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, the race was attended by over one thousand people all running for one single cause… Ben’s fight against cancer. Last May, Ben was diagnosed with a rare, powerful, and aggressive carcinoma. Currently, he is undergoing intensive chemotherapy.
As a star on the soccer field and track, Ben is one of Ramapo’s finest athletes. Ben holds one of the fastest mile times at Ramapo High School with a time of 4:25. However, it isn’t Ben’s athleticism that gives him his unwavering strength, it’s his great character. For anyone who knows Ben as a person, he is not only outgoing and funny, but also a true leader.
The fundraiser consisted of a half marathon, a 5K, and a 1 mile run. Most Ramapo students partook in the 5K, with Ramapo’s Owen Fuhr finishing in second place with a time of 18:37. Head Track Coach, Mr. Manzo, says, “Since the team found out about Ben’s condition last spring, there have been a lot of people wondering how they can help. What started out as the “Ben Strong” bracelets grew into our team participating as a Ben Strong team at the Bolt 4 Ben event. This wasn’t only a way for the team to show support for Ben, but also a way for the team to show support for one another. It was a great way for the team and the community to come together for the Landel family.” Ben attended part of the event and was glad he did, saying, “It was just really great to see everyone and see all of the support. I was hearing it was sold out and there would be a lot of people but actually seeing everyone there and getting to share the moment with them was awesome.” Track teammate Stephanie Behrens says, “It was just a great way for the team to come together and show support for Ben.” The Ramapo community has made it clear that they are certainly “in it for the long run” with Ben.
By: Steven Jacobs ’18