I am sorry to have to say that our neighbor passed away last week. Dan was a fellow ultra-runner and endurance junkie (I truly thought we were invincible) and was currently training for his 1st 100 mile trail run which was scheduled to take place this June in Weston. Dan was a pillar of our community, member of the school board, and all around great guy.
I first met Dan last January during a snow storm shortly after we moved into our house. He shoveled his way up to our front door so he could introduce himself, but was too modest to come in with his snow covered boots. Later that week when I saw him around in his Boston Marathon jacket (of which I was later told the story of the day he qualified), I knew I had moved to the right neighborhood.
Dan's passing shows us just how short life is and that we should not put off things that are important too us. Unfortunately I never went for a run with Dan. I was always planning too, but just kept putting it off for warmer weather.
Following my race at Bradbury Mountain State Park last fall, we began exchanging war stories. For me, it was the telling of getting lost in a mud riddled 33 mile race, for Dan it was the story of his 1st 50 miler, the Shaker 50, in Western Massachusetts and the thorn patches he was forced to navigate with a head lamp. Our next email exchanges included some of our favorite routes from where we live. For me, it was a a 7 mile hilly run that I have dubbed the Water Tower 2 Water Tower 2 Water Tower; Dan promptly responded with a 50K route that included both a loop around Fresh Pond and Walden Pond. I mean really, who has there favorite 50K loop from there house?
As I continue my dollar per mile run fundraising campaign, in February I will be running for Dan. My marathon in Asheville on the 23rd will be fitting end to a hard block of training (highest volume training cycle to date) and represents a challenge that Dan would find worthy (3000' of climbing / 1st 13 miles with segments both on and off road).
All donations are welcome:
The Dan Scharfman Education Fund,
Belmont Savings Bank,
2 Leonard St, Belmont Mass., 02478
I leave you with my last email from Dan and a toast to anyone crazy enough to sign up for a 100 miler.
"Good luck in Asheville - you sound ferocious and ready. I'm off for the Everglades on 2/16 www.evergladesultras.com so we can compare notes after.... Black Mtn should be absolutely beautiful if you're not planting your face in deep mud!"