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Brooklyn’s Sal Polizzi Overcomes Personal Tragedy To Run NYC Marathon

The men's elite runners make their way through Queens during the New York City Marathon. (AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT)

The men’s elite runners make their way through Queens during the New York City Marathon. (AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT)

diamond_feature Marla Diamond
I began my career at WCBS in the fall of 1997 as the station's New...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - When Sal Polizzi isn’t running the family pizzeria in Bushwick, Brooklyn, he’s running.

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond On The Story


“Between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., I can never find the time for run. I do my long runs at night after I get off of work – roughly midnight,” he said.

He runs to cope.

His brother was murdered in a Queens home invasion in September and his mother is battling cervical cancer.

“There’s not much you can do but sit back and watch the person that you love go through this on your own. It paralyzes you to some degree,” said Polizzi.

“It’s had a tremendous effect on my whole family and so we’re trying to do our best in picking up the pieces and moving forward,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Marla Diamond. “You really can never pick up the pieces, but you do it as best as you can.”

For Polizzi, that means raising $10,000 for Fred’s Team in the New York City Marathon. Fred’s Team is a cancer charity named for race founder Fred Lebow.

Polizzi has dedicated this race to his mother and his late brother Peter.

The family pizzeria is Tony’s Pizzeria at 443 Knickerbocker Ave.

What other inspiring stories have you heard from the upcoming New York City Marathon? Share them in the comments section below.