On Saturday January 7, 2012, Sherry Arnold went for a run in Sidney, Montana, and never came home. Two men have been arrested in her disappearance. Her cousin Beth from the blog Shut Up and Run wanted to honor her memory so she created a virtual run on Feb. 11th that soon spread world wide.
I have been reading Beth's blog for quite some time now and she is absolutely hilarious- I even met her briefly at the Eye Candy Lounge in Las Vegas. I love reading her blog and almost feel like I know her. Which is why I was so stunned and saddened to hear this news about her cousin. Beth was very open in her grief on her blog and used this horrible tragedy to bring the running community together to remember and honor a runner who was a wife, mother, daughter, cousin, teacher and friend. Sherry's goodness, courage and strength prevail and she is not defined by the tragic way in which she died.
Kerrie organized a run with our WeROKC running group (women runners of King County) for 8am on Feb. 11th at Seward Park and I knew I had to go run with them! I shifted my 8 mile run from Friday to Saturday and it worked out perfectly. We had about 9 ladies show up and lucky enough there was no rain! Kerrie and I both had sub 9 minute miles on our training plans but decided to slow it down a bit so we could run with Alma and Zoe. Sarah and Lindsay were going a bit longer and Sybil and the other 2 girls (sorry, forgot names boo) were doing some shorter distances.
I thought I had never run up at Seward park and along Lake Washington, but as I drove up there the area was so familiar- it was part of the Rock and Roll Seattle course from last June! Duh! Kind of funny to have run on a road in an area I was completely unfamiliar with. Anyways, I found Seward Park easily enough and was even a bit early. I saw Kerrie and Zoe right away and we hung out waiting for the others to arrive. We pinned on our race bibs and snapped some pictures and pretty soon is was 8:20 and we were missing Sybil! We finally realized she was standing across the park (where we were supposed to meet, oops), called her over and then suddenly we were off running.
The run itself was wonderful. We stopped a few times and chatted with other runners and shared Sherry's story. The conversation was easy and I truly enjoyed running with some amazing women since most of the time I run alone. I thought of Sherry off and on during the run. I thought of her family and friends and how I hope they are finding comfort and peace in this time of sorrow. I hate that there are bad people in this world who make us fear and second guess doing something that we love to do. Sherry felt safe in her small town. I hope that she did not suffer. And I hope those bad people are punished.
When the run was over we did some stretching and Zoe dipped her feet in the water. Alma shared some of her raspberry spinach bars which were quite tasty and we chatted for a bit longer. It was soon time to say our good byes, and as I was getting into my car I realized I didn't have a photo of just myself with my race bib. I was standing in the parking lot trying to get my arms out far enough to get my face and the bib in the photo (which was NOT working, I am too darn short) when this lady popped out of the car parked in front of me. She asked if I wanted her to take my picture and I said that would be great! I must have looked like a complete dork and tried to not let my embarrassment show in the picture. She was very sweet and even suggested I step over into the grass and get a good shot. Thank you lady!
We ran for Sherry. Courage, strength, grace. Never forget.
Total distance: 8 miles Total time: 75 minutes Average pace: 9:23