On Saturday April 21, 2007 the Connecticut Shoreline lost the King of Tampa Bay.
Dave Parcells died competing in his first choice sport, swimming - in Tampa Bay.
I don't recall when I first knew Dave, maybe 1st or 2nd grade, we grew up in the same area of West Haven and attended St. Louis Parochial School. The school contained only one class for each grade from 1-8 so we were classmates for years. The little kid from the schoolyard grew into a man of achievement.
As with many kids from the neighborhood you loose touch as people grow and head in different directions. Coincidentally Dave was the race announcer at my first event in Madison a few years ago. I stopped by and re-introduced myself before the race and he made a point to announce my finish as I crossed the line.
Here is an account of Dave's English Channel Crossing in his own words, It's Not About the Swim. Although he said that swim was the hardest thing he ever did he continued to push and became the oldest person to complete a Double Crossing in 2002.
The report of his death was on the front page of the New Haven Register today. There are many more reports circling the globe with news of thisworld class athlete that was stricken with a massive heart attack at age 49.
For me, Dave will be on my mind as I cross the finish line at the Sea Legs Shuffle & Madison Turkey Trot where he would be announcing.