Run Jane Run
A mother and son team came up winners during this year’s marathon at New York City on Sunday, November 1. Known as the world’s largest marathon, this race is one of the toughest to get through according to Jane Moran Beckenstein, a former Hughesville native and Spartan graduate who completed the race.
Jane Moran Beckenstein, daughter of Alice and Herald Hilkert, Hughesville, finished the New York City Marathon in six hours, twenty minutes and fifty three seconds.
With 43,741 runners departing from Staten Island, the crowd at the start of the 2009 ING New York City Marathon was the largest sea of faces in the history of the race. Among them were a cadre of celebrities and luminaries who capitalized on their star power to raise money and awareness for causes much bigger than personal records.
Beckenstein who now lives in Freehold, New Jersey, registered to run in the race so she could honor her 50th birthday, and to support Bosco’s Buddies, a charity promoting awareness for Hepatitus C and liver disease. According to her mother, Beckenstein is a race walker averaging about ten to twenty miles every week. She had been training for this race for well over a year.
Her son, William Beckenstein had just returned from his tour in Iraq in the United States Army the night before the race, and was able to meet her at the finish line. He is First Lieutenant with Unit 306 in the Military Police Batallion and greeted his mother for the first time in over a year after he arrived from a 23 hour flight from Iraq to Fort Bliss, Texas to New York City on October 31. The race started at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, so “I just made it,” said William.
“Jane grew up with much exercise riding her bike, walking to school and marching with the East Lycoming School band,” said her mother, Alice Hilkert. “When she comes home to visit us, she often will walk from our home in Hughesville to the Lycoming Mall and back,” added her mother. This helped her to train for the marathon, which is generally not an easy race to finish.
As she was getting closer to the finish line and her doubts soaring on whether she could finish her not, Jane said she kept thinking about her son waiting for her. “That’s what kept me going,” she said. “Step it up mom,” she could hear him say loudly. “I came half way around the world just to see you do this,” said the former Lycoming College graduate. “You can’t quit,” And so, with her son’s pleading, Jane Beckenstein was able to finish one of her lifetime goals.
Both mother and son couldn’t have made a better welcome home present for each other, than to have greeted each other proudly in one another’s arms after the NYC marathon.