Aharon Karov barely survived his time as an Israeli soldier in the 2009 Gaza operation Cast Lead. When he was transferred from hospital to rehab and first tried to walk, he took just one step and fainted. This Sunday, he took his place among the 47,000 runners in the ING New York Marathon and finished the 26.2 mile course in four hours and 14 minutes.
Jackson ran along side Yitzchaka Jackson, the wife of the neurosurgeon whose 11 hour surgery had saved Karov’s life. Yitzchaka Jackson has been Karov’s coach and running partner for the last six months, during which he lost over 50 pounds.
At the 23rd mile mark, Karov did stop — but not because he couldn’t go on. “I just want to dedicate the distance so far to your husband who saved me,” Karov said. “The rest of the race is dedicated to you.” Jackson, who had planned to shepherd Karov right to the finish, now found herself thinking that her charge was ready to be independent of her. “You have my blessing to run ahead,” she told him. And he was on his way.