Please join the Rockland Road Runners in celebrating Bill Fortune’s life by participating in the 4th Annual Bill Fortune Memorial 10K & 5K Run//Walk on Saturday May 10, 2014.

The Bill Fortune Memorial 10K & 5K Run/Walk began in 2011 in honor of my dad, Bill Fortune. My dad did not take up running until he was 51 years old, but as with anything he did, he committed himself completely to the new challenge. Before too long he established himself as one the Rockland Road Runners’ most accomplished Masters’ runners. He quickly gained national recognition in track and road-running events, ranging from 800 meters to the marathon. In his 60’s, he set five national age-group records and posted personal-best times faster than runners half his age. At the age of 64 he was running 5-minute miles and at the age of 70 he continued to compete running 6-minute miles.

In doing all this, and so much more, my dad inspired and taught us that it is never too late to set new goals and achieve what once appeared impossible! He showed us that in order to achieve your goals, you need to be committed and work hard each and every day. He trained diligently and referred to his consistent training schedule as his “homework.” A 40-year Pearl River resident, my dad could often be seen doing his speed-work at the Pearl River High School track or doing daily morning five-mile runs at Rockland Lake with fellow Rockland Road Runners’ members.

My dad also believed in the importance of community service and the necessity of giving back to others. In his later years, he was a volunteer coach at the Rockland Road Runners’ summer track workouts, which have since been renamed in his memory. He instilled in all of us this same attitude of service. Meals on Wheels, the recipient of the proceeds for this run, was an important cause for him and has become a passion of mine as well.

It has been nearly 5 years since my dad’s passing. By his family and friends, he will always be deeply missed and his place at the table can never be filled. However, I believe he would be so proud to see that his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends are honoring his memory through service to others.

Register today to celebrate running, Meals on Wheels and Bill Fortune, my dad:

I look forward to seeing you all on race day!

Your Race Director,

Mary Scanlon

Add Comment