On October 15, 2011 Richard Brodsky, age 59, ran his fastest marathon at the ING Hartford Marathon since being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer back in 2002. His time was 04:27:16 (the actual gun time, not the net time). On January 29, 2012 Brodsky beat his time again by finishing the ING Miami Marathon time in 04:27:02. On March 25, 2012, Brodsky, again ran his fastest marathon at the Ocean Drive Marathon starting in Cape May and ending in Sea Isle City, New Jersey. October 13, 2012, Brodsky ran a 4:05:44 marathon, beating his best post-cancer time for the 5th straight time. Says Brodsky, ’people can reverse their aging process, even those living with HIV and cancer.’
Says Brodsky, 'People can turn back their aging clock if they eat healthy, exercise, don't drink or smoke cigarettes, practice safe sex, and lead an upbeat lifestyle. Having a great support system including my loving, marathon-running wife Jodi; massage therapist Kyle Olsen Walsh; acupuncturist Norman Swed; and Bikram yoga instructors Anne Hayes and Colleen O'Rourke (all from Long Beach) are largely responsible for my running faster. For anyone reading this, please encourage a friend or relative afflicted with cancer or HIV to start exercising and they, too, will begin to see the pitcher, not half empty, not half full, but overflowing. And to any politician reading this paragraph, people need affordable doctors and medicine so they can be there for their family.'
2006 - 2016 Marathons
HIVers & cancer survivors… we’re running marathons
I’m Richard Brodsky, the HIV-positive guy with brain cancer; and I’ll be running a marathon a month for as long as my legs, money and health hold out. Why am I running a marathon every month? I’ve been blessed that if I had to become HIV-positive, at least it happened in America where the AIDS medicine and medical care is accessible. It is my hope that society takes note of the absolute necessity that all AIDS sufferers are entitled to the lifesaving AIDS medicine and follow-up medical care. I’ve been further blessed by having a wife, Jodi, who has been so incredibly, loving and supportive that I had to write a book dedicated to her for keeping our family, loving and whole. Without Jodi, I would never have been able to continue being upbeat, and to share in the joyous times of family life, and even those times that were not so joyous.
Being HIV-positive had NOT taken away my energy as I ran my fastest marathon after I was diagnosed HIV-positive, 03:23 at age 46. What eventually slowed me down was a broken shoulder, age and brain cancer, probably in that order. Harvard and NYC doctors have confirmed that my cancer had nothing to do with my HIV. In fact, odd as this may seem, my T-cells now are 1,100, higher than they’ve ever been, so obviously running a marathon once a month agrees with my body. Sure the marathons are painful, there are no easy steps in the 65,000 mile +/- strides in a marathon, but at least I’m alive to feel the pain. I say to anyone who gives up on life because they are diagnosed with HIV or cancer, ‘yes, you’re right, your life is over.’ But dare to dream or visualize that YOU WILL be climbing that mountain or running that race; then surely your chance for not just surviving but thriving, will be a major component in your recovery.
I can no longer sit idle knowing that 12 people will die from AIDS in the two minutes it will take you to read this page. However, I’d like to think I can give people hope that just because they are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, they can still live a rewarding, productive life. My advice: love and cherish your partner and family a lot more, pay a little more attention to a rainbow, because Someone up there has given you the chance to see that rainbow. AND remember, the 12 people who recently died from AIDS in the past two minutes will never see another rainbow.
So many people, including relatives and friends have questioned me as to why I have chosen to give up my career as an Architect to undertake such an uphill fight to help others? To them I say, "Sometimes in life there are no choices."
The Richard M. Brodsky Foundation, www.richardmbrodsky.org, a 501(c) 3 public charity, focuses on finding a cure or vaccine for AIDS, cancer research and improving the lives of people who have been affected by AIDS or cancer. Donations can be accepted by mail or online via the websites, www.richardmbrodsky.org or www.worldaidsmarathon.com For your name or logo to appear on the T-shirt for all upcoming marathons, a $500 donation with your name or logo must be received two weeks in advance of an upcoming marathon. Logos must be sent electronically to RichardM.Brodsky@gmail.com Your contribution may also be used to fund my and Jodi’s running a marathon a month.
Completed Marathon Schedules and Times, with Photos
(Click on the highlighted links for marathon pictures)
July 24th Nova Scotia Marathon Barrington, Nova Scotia, Canada… Says Richard, “when I was 8 years old I collected travel brochures and Nova Scotia had the best brochure. That same summer my travel-collecting-brochure friend traveled to Europe for 8 weeks and I got to go to Brooklyn Day Camp. I lost track of my friend David after high school. I was so ecstatic to tell him I had just visited Nova Scotia and it was everything and more than I hoped it would be. I could not wait to tell him it was my fastest marathon since my cancer diagnosis in 2002. It took me weeks to finally learn that he passed away in his late 50s. David, this marathon’s for you. I was determined to finish in a sub-03:55 marathon so I would qualify for the 2017 Boston Marathon. The odds were not in my favor as we grow older not younger. Knowing that I was running for everyone living with HIV and cancer leveled the playing field; I Richard Brodsky cut 06:26 minutes from my previous PR and finished in 03:53:30. Jodi Brodsky also finished first in her age group and this was her second fastest marathon time: 03:54:59. Photos and article: courtesy of Kathy Johnson and South Shore Breaker.
March 18th - Jerusalem Marathon 4 marathons in 21 weeks... Hartford, Kenya, Miami, Jerusalem... that's one more marathon than Richard ran in all of 2015! Not counting Jerusalem since it was the first time Richard ran Jerusalem, 4 of his last 6 marathons have been his fastest since his terminal brain cancer diagnosis. Says Richard, "people, even those living with HIV and cancer, can reverse their aging process by leading a healthy lifestyle if they have access to medicine and medical care. As for Jodi, she must be the fastest Jewish runner in the world as she came in first place in her age group in both the 2016 Miami and Jerusalem marathons"
Jodi and Richard Brodsky finished in a time of 4:14:07 and 04:36:15. Brodsky finished 17th out of 35 in his age group.
Richard and Jodi Running together in Jerusalem, just over the finish line, and showing their medals.
January 24th - Miami Marathon Jodi Brodsky finished first in her age group in a time of 4:11:04 and Richard Brodsky finished 21st out of 62nd in his age group in a time of 4:17:06. Both times were our fastest Miami marathon times. Photos of Richard running and Jodi and the Brodsky pair once again proudly showing their Miami medals.
December 1st - World Aids Marathon Jodi and Richard Brodsky racing to the finish of the 10th annual World AIDS Marathon in Kisumu, Kenya.. Richard finished in 05:01:04 and Jodi finished in 05:20:13. Richard finished earlier and ran back to finish with Jodi. Photos of Richard and Jodi running together
October 10th - Heartford Marathon Richard and Jodi Brodsky finished the October 10, 2015 Hartford Marathon in 04:21:32 and 03:55:43 respectively, but Richard was running with an injury. Photos (courtesy of Capstone Photography) of Jodi, Richard, and the two with their medals
January 25th - Miami Marathon Jodi and I have been running the Miami Marathon since 2006 - this year we both ran our fastest Miami Marathon. Our times were 4:12:12 and 4:23:34. This is not a reapeat of the Sub 4 hour in Hartford for good reason: Miami is hotter, and there are no local races on Long Island in January to keep me at my peak level. Running marathons is not so tough especially when you get to run with the one you love. Photo of Richard and Jodi Brodsky proudly showing their medals
December 1st - World Aids Marathon I ran my fastest World AIDS Marathon since 2004. Completing in a time of 4:32:23. The 32 minute difference between Hartford and Kisumu is because of the high altitude in Kisumu, rough terrain, temperatures in the range of 80 degrees, and much of the course is run on crowded narrow roads while breathing in the exhaust from the vehicles. Photo of Richard still running strong despite the heat.
October 11th - Hartford Marathon I was hoping to run a sub-4 hour marathon again by the time I turned 65, and I made it! Getting to run a sub-4 hour marathon took me 26 marathons to complete since I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Completing in 03:59:56, my fastest since my terminal brain cancer diagnosis back in 2002. Proof positive that people, even those living with HIV and cancer can reverse their aging process, even for just a decade or two if they lead a healthy lifestyle and have access to doctors and medicine. Photo of Richard after the race courtesy of marathonfoto.com.
April 21st - Boston Marathon - After the unfortunate and heinous events at the 2013 Boston Marathon where an explosion took place, runners were invigorated to participate in the subsequent marathon. Jodi Brodsky was one of these enthusiastic runners, finishing the event with a time of 04:16:22 for her second participation in the Boston Marathon. This time qualified Jodi for the 2015 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 20th, 2015. Photos of Jodi Brodsky crossing the finish line, celebrating, and posing with her number courtesy of marathonfoto.com.
February 2nd - Miami Marathon - Richard and Jodi
April 21st - Boston Marathon - After the unfortunate and heinous events at the 2013 Boston Marathon where an explosion took place, runners were invigorated to participate in the subsequent marathon. Jodi Brodsky was one of these enthusiastic runners, finishing the event with a time of 04:16:22 for her second participation in the Boston Marathon. This time qualified Jodi for the 2015 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 20th, 2015. Photos of Jodi Brodsky crossing the finish line, celebrating, and posing with her number courtesy of marathonfoto.com
February 2nd - Miami Marathon - Richard and Jodi Brodsky finished the February 2, 2014 Miami Marathon in 04:38:33 and 04:17:20. Says Richard, 'No less than 150 people touched my shoulder, gave me a thumbs up, or just had something positive to say. These marathons are not getting any easier and the 150 well-wishers made the run a lot easier.' Photos of Richard and Jodi courtesy of marathonfoto.com.
Dec 1 - 2013 Kisumu, Kenya World AIDS Marathon (details) - Richard and Jodi Brodsky complete another marathon, this time in Kenya where they return every year to assist the locals from the WAM charity funds, and to meet up with the friends they have made over the many years of repeated visits and marathons. Richard and Jodi Brodsky completed the 8th annual Kisumu, Kenya 2013 World AIDS Marathon in 5:28:08 and 5:28:07. See the full report of this visit.
October 12 - ING Hartford Marathon - Jodi and Richard Brodsky completed the 2013 ING Hartford Marathon in 03:53:28 and 4:40:51 respectively. I was hoping to run faster but my knees have been giving me problems. Jodi ran a PR and qualified to run the 2014 Boston Marathon. Photos of Richard and Jodi finishing, and one celebrating together . Richard found his old shirt that he wore back in 2003 after he ran his first post-cancer run in a time of 5+ hours. On the back of the shirt (which you can see in this touching pictures with both Jodi and Richard) in large letters it says
Says Richard, "I never felt so motivated to run my best as so many people were patting me on my back or touching my shoulder wishing me well. That says a lot about the people of Hartford and how supportive the running community can be in helping to eliminate the stigma of AIDS. If you are a runner, please consider wearing a similar shirt. HIV/AIDS will not define you, YOU will define HIV/AIDS. I can tell you firsthand there was not a single negative comment made about my running the ING Hartford Marathon." Photos courtesy of Capstone Photography.
April 15 - Boston Marathon - Jodi Brodsky completed the marathon in 4:03:04. Although Richard had an injury and could not officially run, he did join Jodi for a half mile at mile 4 to give his support, and of course was there in the family reunion area the to congratulate her. Photos include Jodi in group before the start (love what the guy’s shirt next to Jodi says, KEEP CALM and RUN ON), a jubilant Jodi about to finish her first Boston marathon and Jodi running, (calm, relaxed, determined, focused); Photos courtesy of MARATHONFOTO
Boston Marathon Bombings: Jodi and I were outraged that anyone would want to wreak havoc on a city, especially when a marathon is occurring which promotes good will from runners all over the world. Jodi crossed the finish line less than five minutes before the first bomb exploded and we were celebrating in the family reunion area when we heard that explosion. Now more than ever, I hope to be able to qualify for the 2014 Boston marathon. Anytime, you make it more difficult and challenging for a run, especially one that helps support a city where people suffered needlessly, count me in!
Jan 27 - ING Miami Marathon - Jodi and Richard Brodsky completed the 2013 ING Miami Marathon in 4:07:49 and 4:36:18 respectively. I was hoping to run faster but I am recovering from posterior tibial tendonitis. Jodi placed 3rd in her age group. I placed 24th out of 73. We were on CBS news in Miami. Photos of Richard and Jodi (courtesy of MARATHONFOTO)
Dec 1 - 2012 Kisumu, Kenya World AIDS Marathon (details) - Both Richard and Jodi made their fastest Kenyan marathon times this year. Jodi finishing with a personal record time of 4:44:45, and Richard with 4:43:22
Oct 13 - ING Hartford Marathon - Despite the cold, record breaking times are made again at ING Hartford: Richard Brodsky's time 4:05:44 (breaking his post brain cancer record by 17 minutes) and Jodi Brodsky's time of 3:56:06, breaks her record by 13 minutes. Photos: courtesy of Brightroom: Richard and Jodi
May 6 - Long Island Marathon - Richard Brodsky's time 04:27:16 - Richard continues to run his fatsest marathons since being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer back in 2002, tying his Hartford time of 04:27:16.
Jodi Brodsky's time 04:09:49 - After 32 years of marriage, Jodi has finally qualified to run the Boston Marathon. Another marathon run together; Jodi continues to out-run Richard, while they both look happy with their medals. Photos: courtesy of Island Photography
March 25 - Brodsky, for the 3rd straight time on American soil, ran his fastest marathon at the Ocean Drive Marathon finishing at 04:23:22. Brodsky's wife Jodi never misses running a marathon with Richard. The marathon startedstarting in Cape May and ending in Sea Isle City, New Jersey. (Photos courtesy of Island Photography)
March 4 - Black Girls Run: Florence Hogan organized a local chapter in Queens, NY, and invited Jodi and me to participate in a Saturday run. The best part of the run was knowing that Florence organized the local chapter shortly after participating in the Brodsky Foundation's 5K FREE Run/Walk for HIVers, Cancer Survivors & Friends in Kings Point Park.
October 15 - Richard Brodsky, age 59, ran his fastest marathon at the ING Hartford Marathon since being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer back in 2002. His time was 04:27:16 (the actual gun time, not the net time). Photos: courtesy of Capstone Photography
August 28 - Quebec City: Richard and Jodi Brodsky completing the Quebec City half marathon in a time of 02:01:41. Double that and we were on target for 04:04 marathon. I could have run almost two minutes slower and still beat my fastest time back on August 28, 2011. Photos: courtesy of marathon-photos.com