LETTER: Aaron Arnold goes the distance

— To the editor:

There are times in our lives during which we ask an awful lot of our friends. I would venture a guess to say that, the majority of the time, we don’t even realize that we’re doing it. We ask for help with a household project, or need a babysitter at the last minute. Have you ever asked a busy friend to drive five hours on a Saturday morning to meet up with you in the middle of the woods and spend the next nine hours running with you, into the middle of the night, across a winding trail up and down some treacherous terrain? I have.

I tell you this because I think you need to know what a unique opportunity you have….what a unique candidate you have in Aaron Arnold for Salina Town Justice.

My running partner, David Castaldo, and I met Aaron a couple of years ago after joining a local running group to train for our first marathon. While I attended Liverpool High School at the same time as Aaron, we did not know each other at the time. Over the course of the last two years we have kept in touch and trained with Aaron whenever possible, despite his very busy schedule and the fact that he’s a much faster runner than either of us. While we were training for, and completing, marathons and 50Ks (31 miles) over the last couple of years, Aaron was always one of the first to extend his congratulations. He took a genuine interest in our aspirations and whole-heartedly offered his support.

In April of both 2012 and 2013 Aaron joined us, along with four other friends, to run the Seneca 7 Relay Race – a 77.7-mile race around Seneca Lake. It’s worth mentioning, at this point, that Aaron has graciously taken the most difficult sections of that race both years. If you have ever left Watkins Glen heading north on the east side of Seneca Lake, you are familiar with the hill that Aaron has to climb during this race. As our team passed by him on both occasions, while heading to the next exchange point, Aaron just gave a wave and a smile and kept on running.

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