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NOTEBOOK

Plainfield's Mann has lots of heart

Monday, November 08, 2004
BY RICH BEVENSEE AND JIM LAMBERT
For the Star-Ledger

NEW YORK -- Of the record 37,257 runners in the New York City Marathon yesterday, not one showed more guts than Keith Mann.

Mann, a 19-year-old amputee from Plainfield, used forearm crutches to make his way through the five boroughs and finish in 7 hours, 26 minutes, 14 seconds -- good for 36,188th place.

Mann lost his left leg below the knee after an accident he suffered during his junior year at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison. Now a student at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., Mann was escorted through the five boroughs by his mother's business partner, Steve Kay, a veteran of 14 marathons.

"My hands are killing me. I can barely move them," Mann said. "All I could think about was finishing. It didn't matter what hurt. No matter how long it took me, I was going to make it."

Mann got a lift from his family, who greeted Mann and Kay at the 18-mile mark.

"Six miles was the longest I had ever run before, so I had some doubts," Mann said. "Most of my family was at mile 18 and at that time I wasn't doing well mentally. Once I got there it totally picked me up. I didn't train for the race not to finish it."

Mann was 67th in the 18-19 age group.




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