Allan Weitzman, 70, will be running his 11th NYC Marathon with his 11 nieces and nephews
This race should be a ‘relative’ breeze.
When 70-year-old Allan Weitzman runs in his 11th New York City marathon this Sunday he’ll have plenty of very familiar faces competing alongside him — nearly a dozen of his nephews and nieces, who agreed to lace up to honor their ailing aunt, The Post has learned.
It was the brave way Weitzman’s wife Regina, 67, has dealt with her lupus over the last 22 years that inspired the couple’s 11 relatives to run the big race.
“All our nieces and nephews who’ve spent time with Regina think she’s a hero,” Allan said.
“She’s been a role model as somebody who lives with hope, with a smile on her face all the time and the belief of the miracle that one day there will be life without lupus.”
Regina was diagnosed in 1997 with the inflammatory disease, that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues. Since then, she’s had had to deal with daily fatigue, muscle aches and joint pains, as well as blood clots, seizures and regular trips to doctors and hospitals.
But “she’s never played the victim card, never complained, never says ‘why me?'” Allan said.
When Allan ran his last marathon in 2014, to raise money for lupus research, one of his nephews told him he wanted to be included in the next race and, “we grew from two to three and all of a sudden there were 12 of us.”
The group — nine nieces and nephews and two of their partners — range in age from late 20s to early 30s. Three live in New York and the rest are coming from as near as Boston and Jacksonville to as far as Finland.
None of them had ever attempted a marathon when they signed up, and some had never seriously run at all.
Over the last year, they’ve all trained virtually on a group chat where they encourage each other with photos and videos, provide updates on their progress, give and receive tips and discuss how to treat aches and pains.
“We’ve all been comparing notes [and] I think they’re ready,” said Allan, by far the most experienced runner in the group.
The retired attorney ran his first eight New York City Marathons in the 1980s and 90s when he and Bronx-born Regina lived on the Upper East Side.
The couple — who met on a blind date at the Waldorf Astoria and wed a year to the day later in 1984 — moved to Boca Raton, Fla., in 1994. Allan, who is originally from Baltimore ran the marathon again in 2013 and 2014.
Every time he’s raced, Regina cheers him on from 69th Street and 1st Ave — and Allan pauses to give her a kiss.
“I’m not worried about time, she deserves a hug and kiss,” Allan said. “Every day I have Regina, I’m a lucky guy.”
posted Friday November 1st
by Tamar Lapin