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.”