Thursday, February 2, 2012

Virtual Run

Unfortunately, although I continue to accrue great mileage for my virtual transcontinental run across the United States, that is not the subject of this post.  

I follow a running blog titled "Shut Up And Run".  The author's writing style may not appeal to everyone but I enjoy her sense of humor and her commitment to running and fitness.  A few weeks ago, I was catching up on her blog posts and was very saddened to read that her cousin, Sherry Arnold, was the school teacher in the small town of Sidney, Montana who disappeared during an early morning run on Saturday, January 7th.  When she did not return as expected, her husband contacted police and a massive search, supported by hundreds of volunteers, took place.  Although one of her running shoes was found during the search, there was no sign of Sherry.  Seven days after she disappeared, the FBI arrested two men and charged them, in addition to other crimes, with abducting Sherry.  Although no details were released and her body has not yet been recovered, one of the men has confessed to killing her.  She was taken by these men about one mile from her home at 6:40 am.  

This tragedy has hit me hard and I have been thinking a lot about Sherry when I run.  For over 20 years, no matter where we lived or what country, state, city or town we were visiting, I  have ALWAYS run in the mornings.  Yes, it is very dark, the streets are very deserted and very few people are out and about.  I have had a few instances of "scariness" but certainly nothing where I ever felt in danger or threatened.  I have probably been in more danger from animals (camp dogs in Australia, alligators in Miami and soi dogs and cobras in Bangkok) than from humans.  For me, my morning run is my time to reconnect with myself, clear my thoughts and energize my mind & body for the day ahead of me.   I like to think that I can solve the world's biggest problems during a long morning run!  I love the quiet and calmness of the morning and enjoy experiencing the beginning of a new day in a way not many other people do. There is a mosque outside of Nichada's front gate and I can hear the worshipers chanting their morning prayers as I run around the lake.  In Miami, I would finish my run just as the sun rose over Biscayne Bay and while the peacocks in our neighborhood were descending from their perches high in the trees.  In Australia, I saw the most beautiful colors light up the McDonnell Ranges and the desert-scape around Alice Springs as the sun would rise.  

I love to run in the morning and I love how I feel after I run in the morning.  I think that is why I have so much anger and sadness about this crime.  I can't even begin to try and understand how these two men could commit such a horrible crime and devastate a family and a community with a random and impulsive act of violence.  Knowing how I much I love my morning runs and how important they are to my mental and physical health, it is so sad to know that she was abducted and killed while out on her morning run.  She was enjoying HER treasured time to reconnect, recharge and reflect and it was violated and taken from her forever.

What brings this horrible incident to the pages of my blog is this... 

What a fabulous way to honor and remember Sherry!   I am sharing this directly from the "Shut Up + Run" posting, Sunday January 29, 2012 @ because I do not want to omit any important information or acknowledgments.  

"Many of you have told me that you have dedicated your runs and races to Sherry. I have talked about wanting to do a planned virtual run in her honor. Her family has given me their blessing and Races 2 Remember has so generously donated their time to creating a running bib for Sherry.
The virtual run will be on Saturday, February 11 at 9 a.m. MST.
  • 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."

So... I plan to participate in this event along with my women's running group and will pass the info on to the other runners that I know in Nichada & Bangkok.  Coincidentally, because of the date/time difference between MST and Bangkok, this virtual run will happen at just about the same time I am running in a 10K race (part of the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon).  Another coincidence I feel is very special is that the "theme" of the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon is "Run For A Reason".  So, I have decided Sherry will be my "reason" and I will run with her bid overlapping my official race bib on the day.

Whether you run, walk, bike or whatever, I hope you will think about joining in this event.

Have a great Thursday!


Anonymous said...

Kristen, thanks for the quick response! WOW, the traffic certainly seems unpredictable! We have two children, ages 5 and 3 and many questions regarding ISB and Rose Marie Academy just to name a couple! Instead of filling-up your blog with a ton of personal “mom” questions would you be willing to correspond via email? If so, my email is:

Chic Coastal Living said...

I will definitly check out that site and learn more about the virtual run for Sherry.