By Jamie Kempton

RRR stalwart John Singer has completed 996 races since making his road-racing debut back on April 1, 1978 at the NYPD-NYFD 5-Mile Run at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. The quest for 1,000 has been put on hold after John broke bones in his right foot in an Oct. 6 accident on a ladder at his home in Suffern.

Co-founder of RRR’s Swifty Sixties running team with his wife, Ann, John had just participated in the revived Helen Hayes Hospital Classic 10K the day before the accident, Oct. 5. He was perched on the ladder about 20 feet up when it toppled. John had multiple metal pieces and screws inserted into his right foot, and wears a boot similar to a ski boot to protect the foot. He recently took his first steps without the use of a walker since the accident, and is able to negotiate stairs and walk in his driveway unaided.

John attends physical therapy sessions twice a week and joins Ann for upper-body workouts three times a week at Planet Fitness in Airmont. Although he still experiences swelling in the foot, he’s had no setbacks and is ahead of schedule in his recovery timetable. John’s doctor told him the full recovery period is six months. Whether that full recovery includes a return to running is an open question, but John is hopeful.

“The doctor didn’t mention anything about running, but I’m not ruling it out,” says John, a former NYC firefighter, who had never broken a bone before the ladder accident. “I had only four races to go to get to 1,000. We’ll see what happens.”


  • Domingo Stern Posted January 6, 2015 4:54 pm

    Delighted to get news about John and Ann.
    It is thanks to John that I joined the Swifty Sixties group. His invitation was a blessing, and I really miss John’s and Ann’s regular and encouraging emails.
    I think of John every time I go out for a run and wonder how John is doing. I was about to call him but was afraid of disturbing so these news are great and encouraging.
    I hope to get to see again John and Ann
    Here is an encouraging quote for John
    “Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”-Dean Karnazes

  • Narcis Aron Posted January 6, 2015 11:41 pm

    Dear John,
    My heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery!
    I count on your runner’s resilience and life time coach Ann, while training for your 997th race.

  • Frank Dickinson Posted January 22, 2015 1:15 am

    Hey John,
    I hope there’s no truth to the rumor that you cut off the tree branch that the ladder was resting on… 😉

    Seriously, keep those running shoes by the door. I have no doubt that you’ll make it to 1000 races and beyond!

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