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, skate...whatever...at 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!