Be Safe. Run On.
Gretchen Rubin says, “The days are long, but the years are short.” This year has zipped by in all of its busy-ness and routine, but some days have felt tortuously long. After a tragedy, you think life should stop and stand still, but it somehow it just keeps going. I can’t believe it’s been a year since my cousin Sherry was killed. Sherry’s death has brought greater attention to what we can do as runners to be safe and to be aware.
Most of you know the story (covered by media world wide) too well, but if you don’t, here is a brief summary and update:
On January 7, 2012, Sherry Arnold, age 43 and a mother of two, left her house in the small town of Sidney, Montana at 6:30 a.m. for an early morning run. Sherry often ran within the town limits and January 7 was no exception. When Sherry did not come home later that morning, however, her husband began to worry. He called the police and a search ensued. By 3:00 p.m. hundreds of volunteers were searching for Sherry and only one clue had been found, Sherry’s right Brook’s running shoe.
For several days there was no sign of Sherry. On the seventh day, a tip was received on the FBI’s tip line that led to the arrest of two men, one in North Dakota and one in South Dakota. One of the men confessed to killing Sherry. She had been abducted and killed at 6:40 a.m., only about a mile from her house. Reports indicate that the two men had been using drugs while driving from Colorado to Montana to find work. They decided to find and kill a woman when they got to Montana. As the report goes, Sherry ran by their parked car and said, “Hi.” Then, she was grabbed and choked, dying immediately.
Sherry’s body was finally found on March 21, 2012, in a shallow grave near Williston, North Dakota. The two suspects have been incarcerated in Sidney since they were arrested. This week, state District Judge Richard Simonton set trial dates of November 4, 2013 and and January 6, 2014. Each suspect faces one count of deliberate homicide and attempted kidnapping. Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty if the defendants are convicted.
At Sherry’s funeral on March 30, 2012
The loss of someone, anyone who is dear to us, is heartbreaking. The sudden loss of someone to violence is indescribable. As a mother, sister, daughter, friend, teacher, runner, wife, niece, and cousin, Sherry was so much to so many and her absence leaves voids in homes, schools, churches - everywhere. No doubt her family and community have suffered greatly this year trying to make sense of it all (is there any sense to it all?). But they bottom line is, life was better when she was here, and without her, some things have simply fallen apart.
As runners and women, we fear it could have been us. Our hearts continue to break for her students, her family, her community. The human connection often feels deepest during tragedy. With her disappearance and death, the goodness poured out of people worldwide, and as many as 30,000 of you ran in Sherry’s honor on February 11, 2012.
There will be a 2nd Annual Virtual Run for Sherry on February 9, 2013. Races 2 Remember generously donated their time to creating a running bib for Sherry last year and they have also helped with this year’s bib.
- Mark your calendars
- Print out a running bib and pin it to your shirt
- Gather your friends, your running club members, your families
- If it’s wet where you are, “laminate” your bib with postage tape and punch holes in it
- If that time doesn’t work, go when you can
- GO. Run as far and as long as you want. Walk, hike, cycle, rollerblade if you don’t want to or can’t run.
- Please share this on your blogs, Facebooks and Twitters
- Keep it simple. Just run with Sherry on your minds and hearts.
Click HERE to print the bib
(you can also click on the image of the bib in the sidebar)
The goal for the run is two fold:
- To get the MOST love, momentum and energy moving in honor of Sherry. This run symbolizes a hope for continued healing and honors a woman who was courageous, strong and loved by so many. When we run for Sherry, we also run for other runners who have been brutally attacked.
- The run symbolizes our promise to run as SAFELY as we can, but to not fearfully scramble inside to treadmills or to stop doing something we love due to fear. Please read HERE for more information on steps you can take to run more safely.
For those of us in the Denver/Boulder/Longmont area I will be organizing a group run so let me know if you are interested and I will give details.
A Facebook page has been set up for last year’s run and this year’s event HERE.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring about Sherry and her family and for running in her honor. Be Safe. Run On.
Can you run on February 9?