One Radio Goes Silent After 36 Marathons

Steve Mendelsohn's ham radio will go silent after 36 years. Photo: New York Times

The late Steve Mendelsohn was a valuable asset for the New York City Marathon.

The New York City Marathon has been a five-borough race for 36 years. For every edition, Steve Mendelsohn has been a vital part.

He had accompanied officials in the lead vehicle, relaying vital elite race info using his trusty ham radio.

But that radio is now silent. Mendelsohn passed away on Wednesday at his home in Dumont, New Jersey. He was a victim of pancreatic cancer and was 67.

Mendelsohn’s role for the New York Road Runners was chief communications director. He led 400 radio operators who made up the communications systems for the New York City Marathon.

Even though the race takes part in November, Mendelsohn would begin his work in the summer, recruiting radio operators across the country.

Their primary purpose was to provide backup in the event that cell phones failed.

Elite runners aside, the operators assisted medical personnel, relaying details conceding injured runners to the proper authorities.

“We would have lost him a year ago if it weren’t for him being able to keep working the races — he just loved the adrenaline,” said his widow.

For More: The New York Times

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