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Left Nav About This Site Contact Us Privacy Policy 11 Sept. 2005 Race

Nancy Morgenstern Memorial Race
By Tara Parsons

I was asked to write about Nancy Morgenstern because of the upcoming annual memorial race in her honor at Bear Mountain on September 11, 2005. Nancy was a New York City racer who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in the World Trade Center; she died in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. She was my training partner and best friend; I still miss her, especially when I am riding in Central Park or doing hill repeats on River Road.

I am often amazed that there are NYC racers now who never knew Nancy, those who have moved to New York or have taken up the sport since 2001. The events of September 11, 2001 that took Nancy from this world seem like such a short time ago for me, as I know it seems for her family, that I can hardly believe it was four years ago. This race is an important tribute to her, and an important event for those of us who knew and loved Nancy. One of the great things about bike racing is that we all still keep doing it, and loving it, and more racers join the sport every year. I know Nancy is happy for that, and happy that we will be racing at Bear Mountain on the anniversary date.

Nancy was a category 4 racer who rode for the CRCA sub team Axis. She had a great season in 2001, the highlight of which was taking 2nd place at the spring Bear Mountain race. The woman who won that race said how she and Nancy worked together to facilitate an attack on the climb and then sprinted each other for the win. Nancy finished second, but "she was just as happy for me (the winner) as she would have been if she had won" herself. That was Nancy, she would never let her own disappointment be greater than the joy she shared in others accomplishments. Bear Mountain was the penultimate race for her, the race that she focused on and trained for. She was looking for one more chance to win that event before upgrading. Although Nancy may not have had the natural physique that would make her a great climber, she was determined to be one, and she trained with more heart than anyone I knew then, or have known since. That is why this is the event that is dedicated to Nancy, there is not a more fitting race that could be named in her honor.

Nancy was a passionate person, in her life, in her faith, and in her sport. She was one of those rare people that you meet that is truly a good person, and someone who always saw the good in others. Living life gave her joy, and she tried to live life to the fullest, not being satisfied with just what was expected of her. Nancy was an Orthodox Jew, and she continued to pursue her faith while at the same time living the life of a young, single, New Yorker, and as a dedicated bicycle racer. For Nancy these things were not incongruous. She would adjust her life and her schedule to take into account the Sabbath and being Kosher, things that most New Yorkers and bicycle racers would find impossible to do, especially with all of the other pre-race anxieties to worry about. For Nancy, this was just a matter of life, and it wasn't made a big deal of, or taken on as a handicap. In fact, I think perhaps it may have helped focus her at races. The other outstanding quality that Nancy possessed was her amazingly optimistic attitude. She was always able to be happy in any situation, and, of course, always willing to lend her tremendous smile to anyone who needed it. Her smile is dearly missed in the NYC peloton.

I know Nancy will be smiling upon us this September 11th at Bear Mountain, and her name will finally be inscripted on the trophy! Nancy's family will be joining us at the race. There will be copies of the book that they compiled about Nancy to hand out, as well as some great race waterbottles to inspire us up Tioroti climb! I hope that you will consider coming out to the race even if you are not planning to race. Marshals are still needed for the race to go off, so if you can volunteer your time that would be greatly appreciated. Also, Nancy's family loves to hear any story or memory that you have of their daughter, so please don't be afraid to share. I know this day and race will be a wonderful tribute to an amazing person, a girl with real heart, my friend, Nancy Morgenstern.

 

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