I couldn’t believe it when I saw the news on Facebook that morning. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem real. Meg was gone.
I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years, but that didn’t mean I was any less devastated by her death. I was angry mostly. I remember posting this as my status that evening and feeling completely helpless, but I also felt moved to do something. I wasn’t sure what yet, but it came to me later that evening…
January 13, 2014
“A man killed my friend today. At 8:15am this morning he swerved off the road and hit her while she was out for her morning run. I knew her through friends and playgroups when Peyton was little growing up in Richmond, VA. She was a wonderful mother of three young children, lived a very active lifestyle, was a servant of God, and was the kind of woman you felt had a heart of gold the moment you met her. Her spirit was warm, caring, generous, and incredibly loving.
Her life was tragically cut short today by a drunk driver. He took her from us. I’m angry. I’m in disbelief. I’m in shock. I’m incredibly sad. I cannot imagine the pain, the anguish, her husband and children are in. My heart goes out to them. It aches, really. So many people in our community knew her, loved her. Many of my friends are mourning the loss of this amazing woman and I hope you know I am thinking of all of you.
I wish I had gotten to tell her goodbye. Sweet, Meg, I see you running in heaven, dancing with the angels, smiling on everyone with that light in your eyes. You will forever be cherished. You will forever be missed. You will forever be loved.”
When I was around Meg in 2010 and 2011 I was not a runner. I knew she was a big-time runner. But me? Oh not so much. It wasn’t until I started on my weight loss journey in the fall of 2012 that I became a runner. And since running had become my passion as it was Meg’s, I wanted to run in her honor.
I created a virtual event on Facebook and invited everyone I knew. I posted about her story and the virtual run in my running groups on Facebook. People everywhere felt drawn to her story. It resonated with them.
I was initially trying to create more awareness for runners concerning safety. Simple things like always run against traffic, wear bright colors, have ID on you, always be aware of your surroundings, don’t listen to music or if you do, keep it low so you can hear traffic. I wanted people to run in her honor and take a look around them as they ran – to enjoy their surroundings, whether in the cold, the sun, the rain, or snow. I wanted people to take a moment to reflect on how lucky they were to be running in that moment. Because Meg didn’t have any more moments like this.
I wanted people to think about all the good in their lives. The love of family, friends, and faith. I wanted people take those moments during their run that day and be grateful. For what God had given them. For what gifts He bestowed upon them. For what He wanted us to do with our lives.
As the day of the virtual run drew near, tens of thousands of people were running for Meg. All over the world as far as Japan, Europe, South America, Australia & more. It was the most incredible movement and testament to the kind of person Meg was. To this day, I am still amazed at the outpouring of love thousands of people showed for a complete stranger.