Saturday, February 11, 2012

For Sherry

Today, runners all over the world united and ran in the name of Sherry Arnold.

I organized the first group run of our new running club for this morning. We printed out a pile of the Sherry bibs made by Races 2 Remember and brought them along today with a bag of safety pins.

I felt very emotional all day yesterday. I am so very heartbroken for what happened to Sherry, and what her family is going through. I am sad that her life was ended so tragically, and that it was taken from her while she was doing something she loved.  I am scared to think about there being people out there that would hurt and kill so senselessly. I am mad that my own sense of safety and well-being doing something that I love (as do so many others) has been shaken.

I am not usually a worrier, but I was worrying yesterday. I was worried I would try to talk to the group before the run (Beth asked that we all started with a moment of silence), and that I would start to cry. (Once I start crying, I literally can't talk.) I worried I wouldn't say the right thing. I worried no one would come. I worried about the roads. I worried about the weather. I really wanted things to go well and to honor Sherry in a special way.

All the worrying was for nothing.

It was a beautiful (cold and foggy!) morning, a beautiful run, and a beautiful tribute to Sherry. I got some much needed inspiration and support this morning and was feeling good as we left for the run. Josh, Ryan (14), and I got to the high school and found there were already a few runners waiting. We started handing out bibs and more and more people showed up. There was a wrestling tournament and some other things going on so we were missing several people who wanted to be there, but we ended up having 23 runners when we started, including some brand new runners/walkers that I was so excited to see show up.

I talked a little about Sherry, and what a special day this was to be a part of, and how amazing it was to think about runners all over the world coming together today to honor her with our running. I held it together and didn't cry (only choked once) until it was all said and done.

Just before the moment of silence. You can see in my face I was emotional.

Here is the group minus Josh, who was taking the picture, and one other person who came a minute later. I am in the front in the green gloves and Ryan is behind me in the red hoodie.

The roads were snow packed and icy in spots, but it worked out just fine. We had a 3.1 mile loop, and some people opted to do it once, and some of us did it twice (I would guess about half of the runners did the 10k). I ran with a few friends for awhile, ran alone for awhile, and ran with some people I was meeting for the first time. Many people thanked me for starting the running club and for organizing this run, which was really nice.

The sun peaked in and out of the fog. The mountains were clear at times, and hidden at others. It was COLD when we started (12 degrees) but I warmed up as soon as I was moving. I thought about Sherry. I thought about people I love. I thought about running. I prayed.

We waited around for the last people to finish and enjoyed talking with some of the other runners. I had Josh snap this picture of me before we left (and the fog was thickening up again) and then we headed home, feeling really great about how it had went.
Me, just before we were leaving. It was so foggy that you can't even see the mountains that are right behind me!
It was inspiring. It was peaceful. It was lovely. I think it was a day of not just unity, but healing for the running community, and I pray that Sherry's family felt the love and support coming from so many.

We came together. We united. We did what we love. We honored Sherry. We showed how awesome (and strong) the running community is.

As Beth said -
We did it. Bad, mean people can suck it.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Run for Sherry today, both here, and anywhere else. I know that her memory will live on in the hearts of many of us. Be safe runners.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Erin, What a beautiful tribute. I enjoy your blog everyday but especially today. Written with so much tenderness and love.
Much love,
Amy (Utah)

Michelle said...

I felt really emotional today for our run also. I blogged about it, and it helped. What a great way to honor her name and memory!

Ugly said...

That was a nice tribute to Sherry....Unfortunately, thousands of innocent people perish each year to sickos--just recently the Powell sons and the two kids plus their mother in Spokane, plus others on a daily basis....

We need to be thankful on a daily basis....running is our escape from reality....

Run with Jess said...

Great group showing! We had a small group run also here in Peoria, IL

ShutUpandRun said...

Beautiful.Thank you for being such an important part of this day.

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

Bad Mean people can suck it. I did a 10k too, great job with your run.

Nicole said...

Wonderful job getting so many runners together! What a great tribute to Sherry and a reminder for all of us that the bad won't win.

XLMIC said...

Awesome! It is pretty incredible to be a part of such a powerful event :)

Christina said...

You had a nice group of supporters there.
I agree, the running community is united and strong and supportive.

L.A. Runner said...

Excellent job bringing runners together. Like you, it does make me more worried about what *could* happen on a run. I just try to remember that any of us could go on any given day. There's only so much we can do to prevent things, and we can't live our lives in fear. Prayers of peace to Sherry's family.

christa said...

That's awesome that you did it. I hate that I have to worry about stuff like that, even here in my small town. I wish there was a running club close by..

Laura said...

What a great way to honor her, as a group. I was running alone, but still found it meaningful... hope her family found some healing in it, too.

Anonymous said...

I too ran- had to run at the ymca :( sherry's family has been on my mind since I heard of this loss. I hope knowing that there were thousands running yesterday gives them the support that they need.
Also- congrats on your running group!!! I love.running with our group! Carol- wv

Terzah said...

Looks like we had the same weather! :^) I'm so glad you had such a great turn-out and a wonderful run.

Molly said...

We had the same snowy conditions Saturday, but it was a great run for Sherry.

Laura said...

Wonderful and tribute to Sherry!