Marathon runner loses car for two days
Charles Petraske completed last Sunday’s New York City Marathon in a respectable three hours and 16 minutes — and then suffered every motorist’s worst nightmare.
He could not remember where he parked his car. For two days.
Petraske, 34, a sales rep who lives near Albany, drove his hybrid Hyundai Sonata to Midtown early Sunday morning for the race.
He parked his car in a garage and left his ticket on the dashboard. In a small pocket of his running shorts, he stuffed $40 and a key before boarding a charter bus to the Staten Island start line.
After finishing the grueling course, he hailed a cab to take him back to Bryant Park. But when Petraske, still sweating, looked around, nothing looked familiar.
“I was completely disoriented,” he said. “I had no idea where the heck I was, or where my car is parked, and I had no phone and no money.”
The only thing he remembered was parking near a scrolling billboard displaying ads for Coke Mini, New York State Lottery and MasterCard.
The police told him they could not locate a missing vehicle until it was towed. Cold-calling garages was a dead end.
“Nobody could believe I drove to Manhattan and couldn’t remember where I parked,” Petraske said.
Petraske finally called his wife from a hotel, who drove into the city to rescue her hapless husband.
Out of options, Petraske called Cemusa, the firm that runs the ads displayed on city bus shelters.
Based on his description of the ads he remembered, Cemusa immediately located his garage as the Park n’ Lock on West 31st Street near Madison Square Garden.
“You’d think I would have remembered that,” he said sheepishly.
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