Sunday, February 12, 2012

Running For Sherry

Yesterday I participated in my first virtual race. The race was held in honor of Sherry Arnold, a runner from Montana who was kidnapped and presumably murdered last month. 
Sherry was a mother, a wife, a teacher, a friend & a runner...just like me. 

She set out one morning, just like any other, expecting a peaceful & enjoyable run. Instead, the unthinkable happened. The thing that all runners keep in the back of their mind, but never expect to happen to them. She was abducted just 10 minutes from her home at 6:40am. Two men have been arrested in connection with the case, but no body has been located...only one of running shoes on the side of the road. Thats all thats left of Sherry- besides her memory. 

I can't even imagine how her friends and family are dealing with this and I hope and pray it never happens to myself or someone I know. I am always careful and observant when I'm out running- I run familiar paths, my husband knows my route, I (usually) don't run in the dark, and when I do- I stay on the main streets instead of the trails or dark, quiet neighborhoods. I keep my phone with me, I wear reflective clothing when needed, I don't listen to music so that I can be more aware of my surroundings and a couple days of the week I run with someone else. 

I'm sure Sherry did all of those things too- but unfortunately the unimaginable happened and now she is gone. A husband has to go to bed without his wife, 2 children have to wake up each morning without their mom & many friends and family have to deal with the loss of their beloved friend and family member. It just sends shivers up my spine.

So yesterdays run, put together my her cousin in Colorado, was held all around the country at 9:00 am. She was doing a fundraiser to raise money for Sherry's children and asked runners to donate what they could, and to run, bike, walk, 9:00 am in honor of Sherry. 

Rebecca and I headed to Woodward park, our normal 5k race spot and ran the same 5k race route we do in "official" races. I was hoping to PR but between the blisters on my feet and my legs feeling like bricks, I missed by about 1:30. Last week I really stepped up my workouts and by the time Saturday came around, my legs were DONE! I didn't let that stop me, I went out and ran and gave it all I had.

Here are Rebecca & I after we finished our run (and I'm SO proud of her- this was her first time running the entire 3.1 miles without stopping to walk! She is doing so good!) Its a cell phone pic and really bad quality
 And before the race, we took a few picture together also

It gave us both a lot of time to think about Sherry & her family and pray for their peace during this awful time. Last I checked, more than 20,000 people had signed up to run for Sherry yesterday- all around the country. Isn't that amazing! 20,000 runners joined together, in honor of someone they didn't even know, to race for her memory. I'm sure that Sherry would have done the same for someone else and we were honored to run for her! 


  1. Great job!! Way to go Rebecca! So now that I know for sure that you live semi-close to me I have to ask if you are running the End of the Trail Half next month?

    1. Hey! Thanks for the comment. I'm actually not running the End of the Trail Half- thats in Visalia right? Its only about 45 minutes away from me but I'm doing a race every other weekend in March and needed to keep one open to just relax with the family :) I'm doing the Blossom Trail 10k in Sanger & then the other 2 are in Fresno. Where around here are you? Nice to meet you by the way :)

    2. I'm down in Porterville. End of the Trail is the only race I'm doing in March (which is good since I usually work weekends and sometimes they get crabby when I ask for too many days off). Are you doing The California Classic? I'm thinking about signing up, simply to run through the zoo!

    3. Oh ok! Portervilles only about an hour and a half from us. Yes I am definitely doing the CA Classic. My brother ran it last year and it was a really fun race. You get to finish in Grizzlies Stadium, run through the zoo, tower district, downtown...I actually just registered for it a few days ago! Let me know if you decide to sign up!