Gianclaudio P. Marengo came from Italy to run the New York Marathon along with a group of other Italians; by the time he finished the race he could not find his group, so he ended up lost in New York for the next couple of days trying to find his way. On Tuesday, New York Police found him; he had been lost since Sunday Nov 1.
Mark Santora and Al Baker from NYTimes reported the following:
“Mr. Marengo, 30, does not speak English and had never been to the city, but he was with a team of seven other runners from Italy and he had trained months for this day.
Antonio Boschini, 58, who served as a medic for the Italians, said in an interview that just getting to the race had been a victory of sorts.
Mr. Marengo was part of a group of recovering addicts from San Patrignano, a drug rehabilitation center on the Adriatic coast.
‘He is certainly a fragile, vulnerable and very emotional person who after years of drug dependency found the chance to recover in San Patrignano,’ the center said in a statement.
Mr. Marengo was not registered to run but wore a number assigned to Mr. Boschini: 23781.
He carried a bag with a few essentials: a subway map, a card for his hotel in Queens and some food.At some point along the 26.2-mile course, Mr. Boschini said, Mr. Marengo reached into the bag for a bite to eat.For a long stretch he ran with a partner, but Mr. Boschini said that Mr. Marengo was the least athletic of his group and by the time he crossed the finish line in Central Park, he was alone.”
Justin Davidson from NewYorkMag.com reported the rest of the story, including what Marengo’s friend David Howell had to say:
“When Marengo finished the race, fatigued and disoriented, he discovered that he had lost the instruction sheet. While his teammates and the four supervisors from San Patrignano reported his disappearance to the Italian consulate, which in turn alerted the police, Margengo spent the rest of the day and all night wandering around Central Park, too shocked and fearful to ask for help.
‘He didn’t speak English, and he was scared to ask people for directions,’ Howell said. ‘This is practically the first time he’d left San Patrignano, so it was a big shock, and it blocked him from asking for help.’ Marengo did have $5, which he spent on a piece of pizza the evening after the race. At some point, he also approached a taxi driver who apparently understood some Italian. But when Marengo explained that he was lost and didn’t know the name of his hotel, Howell said, ‘That didn’t work out very well.’…..
…..The rest of the story is murky. Marengo says he used his MetroCard to make his way to JFK Airport, where his team was scheduled to take a flight home. The Italian maintained that some police officers approached him and, finding that he had no ticket or passport, escorted him outside — but the Port Authority police have no record of the interaction. In any case, it’s not clear exactly where he went: There is, famously, no direct subway connection to any New York–area airport, and Marengo does not remember switching to a bus or the AirTrainEarly on the morning of the second day, NYPD officer Man Yam found him on the subway at Penn Station. ‘He decided to trust the police officer,’ Howell said. ‘They bought him breakfast’.”
Good thing he was finally found. Running is a great way to get a natural high. Exercise that provides an adrenaline rush is a good substitute for drugs and possibly a good treatment for addiction.