NEW YORK (AP) It was a busy 24 hours for New York Mets assistant clubhouse manager Dave Berni, who sandwiched running the New York City Marathon between Games 4 and 5 of the World Series.
Berni spent Saturday night at Citi Field after the Mets’ loss to the Kansas City Royals, finishing up his work. He slept a few hours on manager Terry Collins’ couch before heading to Staten Island early Sunday for the start of the race.
”I was so nervous, tried to take a nap during the game last night,” Berni told The Associated Press after finishing the race in 4 hours, 40 minutes. ”But it’s a World Series game, so how do you nap during a World Series game?”
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Berni said he got encouragement from the Mets, including a special call from David Wright on Sunday while he was running.
”He’s been busting my chops before that. He actually called me on the course – it’s pretty amazing. He said go get ’em,” said Berni.
Marathon organizer New York Road Runners moved Berni into an earlier start time so that he would be able to get back to Queens before Game 5 on Sunday night.
”I’m late for work,” Berni joked. ”I can’t explain it. It’s awesome. Now it’s back to a World Series atmosphere. Pretty cool.”
Berni said running the 26.2-mile course was an incredible feeling.
”The last two miles was unbelievable,” he said. ”I can’t explain it.”
Berni started running a few years ago and trained with Mets bullpen catcher David Racaniello, who ran the 2014 NYC Marathon in just under 3:42. That inspired Berni last November to try to run New York himself. He attempted to get in through the lottery but didn’t make it. So he decided to run for Bulldogs Care Foundation, a group that helps disadvantaged youth as they pursue personal development through programs in athletics, education and mentoring.
As the Mets kept winning and winning, Berni never thought about ditching the race.
”Once July rolled around, I said we might have a conflict there,” he recalled. ”The team was getting better and the pitching was there.”
He wasn’t the only Mets employee among the more than 50,000 runners – videographer Brian Rusnak also completed the race in just over 5 hours. Mascot Mr. Met made an appearance, too, greeting finishers of a kids race in the morning.