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Posted: January 23, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Central Park Track Club Mourns Founder Blackstone

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (23-Jan) -- Members of the Nike Central Park Track Club are in mourning after the death of the club's founder and first president, David Blackstone. The prominent criminal defense attorney who lived in Manhattan died on Jan. 18 after battling cancer. His death was announced in both the New York Times and on the club's official website. He was 69.

A 1963 graduate of Columbia University Law School and a former Marine, Blackstone would regularly run around the Central Park Reservoir running path, and in 1972 he decided to form a running team which he named the Central Park Track Club. From 1972 to 1980 he was the club's president and coach, despite working full-time in his law practice. Blackstone managed the club's affairs from his apartment on East 85th Street with his wife, Lynn, who also served as an officer in the club for many years.

Blackstone was inducted into the Club's Hall of Fame in 2007. Although not an elite athlete, he was a strong recreational runner. According to records kept by the New York Road Runners, Blackstone ran the ING New York City Marathon six times, posting a best time of 2:40:07 in 1975, the last year the race was held entirely in Central Park.

A memorial service to celebrate Blackstone's life will be held on Sunday in Manhattan at the Frank Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Avenue at 81st Street at 2:30 p.m.

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