This Sunday will finally mark the day that I run my virtual race for the Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial. It was a fundraising campaign that was initially started on a smaller scale that spread like wildfire: run a 5k, half marathon, bike, swim, walk…. anything that felt RIGHT to the individual in order to pay homage to those lives lost tragically in Sandy Hook, Conn.
The world watched in horror as events unfolded on December 14, 2012. Hearts broke. Tears were shed. It just seemed unfathomable. People didn’t know what to do to cope with this pain. Everyone wanted to help, but many of us didn’t know how.
Benjamin and Beth in Tampa, Fla. created a virtual race that could be completed at any time, with all proceeds benefiting the United Way of Western Connecticut to benefit the families of those lives lost. They even provided a race bib with the victims’ names and ages, as well as a medal. I cannot imagine a medal I would be more proud to earn.
As an experienced marathoner, I wanted to do more than my share of 13.1 miles. I wanted it to really hurt. I wanted it to mean something more than just a long run.
Sunday I will run 27 miles. Each mile will be dedicated solely to one victim, and each mile will be run starting with one minute of silence. This won’t be a race. This won’t be timed for a PR. If I want to walk, I’ll walk. If I need to stop for a few minutes, I’ll stop. It’ll just be me with my thoughts.
This event will be a personal milestone for me: the longest distance run in one time. It will be a time to reflect on life, and what truly matters in this world. These miles will mean something to me.
If you would like to help contribute to the Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial, please visit the United Way of Western Ct: https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/
If you would like to run some virtual miles, it’s still not too late: http://www.active.com/half-marathon/tampa-fl/sandy-hook-elementary-memorial-virtual-half-marathon-and-5k-2013
I’ll post a “race report” with a photo of the medal once it is received. In the meantime, I truly hope to find myself this weekend as the trails open up to me and the miles bring me home.