Malachi Funderburk was raised on Long Island in Uniondale, New York. He looked up to his older brother, Vernon, who was two years older and an exceptionally good athlete. Vernon had gone out for the cross country team and would share many great running stories with Malachi. And to this day, Malachi attributes his love for running to his older brother. Malachi, had dreams of running too and worked hard to save up for his track suit. Once Malachi was old enough to participate in school sports his first experience was on on the soccer team and during the winter months he wrestled but continued to anticipate the spring track season. One day before track season was starting, Malachi was asked by Pat Shea, the football and lacrosse coach what his plans were for the spring season and Malachi boldly answer, “I’m Running Track”! Coach Shea replied, “no your not, you’re playing lacrosse!” “I am” asked Malachi? Yup – follow me…
As a freshman Malachi was approached by the track coach who spoke the sweetest words he’d ever heard, “How would you like to earn some medals?” He ran on the 880 relay team and were the Nassau County Novice Champs at the end of the first season.
Malachi’s longer distance running career actually started with a childhood friend who during high school had gained weight and so he started running in the evenings to get his weight down and Malachi joined him. Eventually they were running 6 to 8 miles a day and honestly these runs had become more like races. After a summer of killing themselves they had seen an advertisement for the Long Island Marathon and decided to register. It was Malachi’s first official race and he said – it was terrible! The start was exciting but once you got on the open road there was no cheering, no water, no nothing and at the end no medals. Malachi only participated in one other and it was the New York City Marathon and it was way more exciting but he decided he enjoyed half marathons so much more.
Malachi served his career as a New York State Police Officer and is enjoying retirement on the farm, his own slice of heaven in Brunswick County. He continues to run and always wonders whats around the corner or up the hill. Malachi has felt like a member of the Coastal Race Family since we first met him and he has participated in over 50 Coastal Race Productions events. He takes his place in the field and enjoys the run, the scenery and the people around him. I guess he still likes earning those medals!
Malachi Funderburk thank you for being the kind, compassionate and fun person that you are and may you continue to always run strong!