Richmond Full/Half Marathon #MegsMiles

This past weekend was a big one in the running world.  It might not have been the NYC Marathon or the Boston Marathon, but it was a momentous weekend nonetheless.

On January 13, 2014 Meg Cross Menzies was out for her morning run, training for the Boston Marathon, when she was struck and killed by a drunk driver.  Her husband was with her for that run and at her side as she died.  Thousands of runners came together after this tragic accident to virtually run in her honor, leave their shoes at the spot where she was struck, and pay tribute to a fellow mother and runner.

This event struck hard in the running community.  Meg was a smart runner and played by the rules.  She ran on the side of the road and against traffic.  She was experienced and had even qualified for Boston, a bucket list item for many of us runners.  She was a great mom and a pillar in her community.

In the weeks after her death runners joined forces to run in her honor and #MegsMiles was created.  The Meg’s Miles Facebook page as of last night had 17, 499 members.  Athletes post their mileage and runs and discuss how during even the most difficult of training moments, the thought of Meg has pulled them to the end.  The page has served as a source this past year for runners to look for support in their training.  Many of these runners took to the sport after learning about Meg’s accident.

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This past weekend was the Richmond, Virginia Half and Full Marathon, close to where Meg lived.  Athletes in the Facebook page posted pictures and stories of their race experience and visits to Meg’s memorial at the spot where she was struck nearly a year ago.

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Reading through the Facebook page was absolutely inspiring.  One runner discussed being at her first half marathon ever this weekend and the nerves that hit her as she waited alone in her corral.  She was wearing her #MegsMiles shirt and another athlete came up and put her arm on the runner’s shoulder.  She simply said, “I am a Megger too.”  The athlete recounted what a great feeling it was to feel like she was no longer alone on the course.  She was in fact among friends and family.  For the rest of the race she noticed fellow “Meggers” in front of her and along the course cheering.

In fact, many of the people on Facebook came to the race, not to run but to hold signs and cheer on the other runners.  Meg’s husband spent time responding to posts on the page this weekend from his wife’s Facebook profile
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I have always said that this sport is about more than just running to me.  Reading these stories and seeing the pictures posted online was such a testament to how big and wonderful the running community is.  From Kel Kelly, collecting shoes to make a monument in honor of Meg to fellow runners visiting her memorial, it has always gone beyond running.  Right now I am in Michigan, hundreds of miles from Virginia.  But this weekend I could feel the outpouring of love just by reading these stories and seeing the pictures.

I have to think that of the 17,499 people in the Facebook group, the vast majority likely never actually knew Meg.  But as we have come together since her passing, it goes beyond physical meetings.  The love we share for this sport and the respect we have for anyone who works to achieve their goals brings us together in a very special way.  It is an unbreakable bond, that perhaps non-runners might not be able to understand.

MegsSolesOfLove

Congratulations to everyone who ran in Richmond this past weekend.  And a special thank you to everyone who came to cheer on the runners.  I sure wish I could have been there to experience the running love.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone who has run miles in honor of Meg and her family.  You are all incredible and should be so proud of yourselves.

Did you notice that #MegsMiles can be read as Meg’ Miles or Meg Smiles?  Pretty cool!

 

It Is Days Like Today….

…that I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful running community.

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Over the past year I have watched the outpouring of love and support for other runners, victims, and also runners we have lost.  I am so thrilled to see the Boston Marathon being held today and stronger than it has ever been.  It is a thrill to see athletes and families and even victims come back together as a community.

I am sending love and good luck today to the athletes.  A special good luck to my friend Kyle who is running.

A very special good luck goes to Scott Menzies as he runs in honor of his wife who lost her life this past winter while she was training for the Boston Marathon. #megsmiles

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If you have a second to read an article check out this memorial that Kel Kelly made in honor of Meg called Meg’s Soles of Love.  Runners from all over the country sent their shoes with messages on them to be part of a memorial near the start of the marathon.  All of the Boston athletes will pass this as they begin their 26.2 mile journey.  How cool is that?!

Soles Of Love

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Whether you are running today or cheering on, I am sending a hug and a high five your way.  It is an honor to be a part of the running community.

Don’t forget that you too can run today with the Boston Marathon World Run!

Source: activetimes.com

Source: activetimes.com