Three Ways to Honor Sherry Arnold

A bib, created by Races 2 Remember, for Sherry's virtual run.

In the weeks since Sherry Arnold, the mother runner and teacher from Sidney, Montana, has gone missing, her disappearance made national news. Even People magazine covered it. (I wish they would've factchecked the word "jogger" in the headline; she was—as we all are—a runner.) Sadly, her body has not yet been found--the FBI are still on the case--but her family, including Beth Risdon of Shut Up and Run, is eager to honor her memory. In a beautiful post, Beth writes, "I won’t focus on the evil parts of this story. I will say there are two malicious, heinous men who did this and thousands upon thousands of loving and good people who have reached out in support. It’s not even a close contest. The good continues to outweigh the evil by a long shot. That’s where I will put my attention."

That's where we're putting our attention too. I was very teary the day that Sherry was proclaimed dead, and I know plenty of you were too. Another Mother Runner Phoebe wrote on FB, "The Montana Mom, Teacher, Runner won't be coming home. I'm a wreck over a person I never knew...." Exactly.

I didn't know Sherry, but I knew her: I knew she loved on her kids; I knew she thrived on a good run; I knew she wanted to make a difference in the world through teaching and adoring her students; I knew her priorities must have included health and personal goals and the regular endorphin rush; I knew I would've instantly liked her and wanted to be her friend.

Beth is spearheading a two-pronged effort to honor her cousin, and we want to support her and spread the word.

First up: a virtual run. On Saturday, February 11th, we encourage you to grab your BRF's, your family, your running club, your neighbors, anybody and everybody who wants to run with Sherry in their hearts.

Some details:
:: The run starts at 9 MST; if you can make that time, great. (I hope you can; I want the earth to shake in Sherry's honor.) If you can't, just run when you can.
:: The distance is up to you. Go fast, go slow, go fartlek, go short, go long. Just go with the knowledge that Sherry will be watching from above--and with you every step of the way.
:: You can print out a pdf of the bib here. If it's raining, Beth wisely suggests laminating it with packing tape.
:: Beth (and we) would love to see pics or blog posts of your runs; you can e-mail her at [email protected] and she'll get them to Sherry's family.

Second up: an opportunity to donate. Beth writes, "Sherry Arnold, a runner, mother, and teacher, went for an early morning run on January 7, 2012, and never came home. Sherry's goodness, courage, and strength prevail; she is not defined by the tragic way in which she died. Please help me support Sherry's family by donating to a fund for her children, Holly and Jason."

Third up (my contribution): remember Sherry when you don't want to run. When you're dragging and are fighting the run with every ounce of your being; when you get to mile 11 of a half-marathon and are cursing the last 2.1; when the ___________ (rain, hills, wind, your IT Band, whatever the handicap du jour may be) is making your legs feel leaden and your heart even heavier, remember Sherry. You get to be a runner and feel the wind, the road, your quads, your exhaustion, your smile. Lucky, lucky you.

41 responses to “Three Ways to Honor Sherry Arnold

  1. I will be doing my long run on Saturday to honor Sherry, and will be sending thoughts and prayers to her loved ones with each step I take.

  2. My BRF and i will be running in honor of Sherry on February 11th. Keep safe everyone. Thoughts and prayers to Sherry’s family.

  3. I will be running on the 11th in honor of Sherry and her family!! My heart goes out to them! Now I know why my husband tells me to run with my gun ( I have a concealed weapons permit) when I’m out running the trails that are off the road out in our area. I do know I will also be purchasing pepper spray for myself. All you Mother Runners stay safe out there!

  4. We’re on it!! The fab 4 Bass Ass Teachers from Motown will be running in honor of such an wonderful Mother, Teacher and Runner.. It’s through her legacy that many other runners will be a bit more careful on those early morning solo runs..I have not doubt, this will save many others…. We are truely honored to run in Shelly’s Name..

  5. Because of Sherry, I now run with pepper spray. Because of Sherry, I don’t wear my headphones when I’m running alone. Because of Sherry, I look at everyone on the trail and say good morning, hello, or have a good day. I remember each one. Because of Sherry, I’m more careful. And because of your reminder, I’ll try never to take my runs forgranted. Thank you.

  6. I have been thinking of her these last few weeks and I think I can finally say it here. And indeed my pace speeds up when I think of her freedom and life stolen and the loss her family suffers… I speed up again. I think about her feet not being on this earth to run again and I hold on to a faster pace than I have ever pushed. On my winter hardest run last weekend, I thought of how her feet must have hit snow and ice like this so many times before, and I appreciated the discomfort I was feeling at that moment. This year I will set a new PR at my first half of the year in March in her honor.

  7. Loved this post, and you are SO right. I thought of Sherry the other day when I felt like quitting on my long run. I am lucky to have the choice to run and giving up will not be an option. Feb 11th I will be running!!

  8. I’ll be running 14 that day in preparation for the Disney Princess half at the end of the month. I’d be honored to dedicate my run that day to Sherry.

  9. I will run on the 10th as I am flying to Australia on the evening of the 10th right through the 11th but being in the air is the only thing that would stop me being out there and I will run that morning in honor of Sherry before I leave. Her story has touched me so much.

  10. I just printed out my “never forget” race number and I will be wearing it on my long training run on Saturday, in Sherry’s memory. I didn’t know her in person, but I know her in spirit, and I’d like to honor her memory and share that tribute with her family. I plan on taking a photo of myself with my number on, out on the trail, and I’ll send it on to the contact info. Thanks for getting the word out.

  11. I am so thankful for this post. I will do all three. I have been glued to the feeds about this, from the onset of her disappearance. I continue to be part of a growing group of people who are mourning her loss, carrying her family in our hearts, and running for Sherry. Peaceful and Healing thoughts to all.

  12. I live in Montana and have been overwhelmed by Sherry’s disappearance. Thank you for this post…I have forwarded it to our local running store in hopes they will pass it on. I hope to get a group together to run in Sherry’s honor, if not, I will run alone doing what I’ve been doing on most runs lately…crying for Sherry and her family.

  13. After pausing to mop up my face, I am off to do bullet point #3. On a day when I considered putting my run aside, this post brought home how lucky we all are. On the 11th I will think of Sherry and her family as I head out on the streets of Portland. Great post and a wonderful tribute.

  14. Your last paragraph really hit home and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for reminding us how lucky we are and how grateful we need to be for the opportunity to be active when so many others simply can’t.

  15. Thank you for posting this. Sadly I’m not up to date on my current news and had no idea this happened. There is so much evil but like Beth said there IS so much good in the world. Including all those who will be participating on Feb. 11th. Thank for an inspiring post. God bless Sherry and all those who loved and were connected to her.

  16. I don’t have cable so I’m not generally up to date on my news. I’ve only heard of Sherry updates through RLAM (AMR). I think it’s just now hit me that she’s not coming home. I’ll be running Feb. 11th for her.

  17. This story really has had an profound effect on me and my running friends. We will now make a cognitive choice to be more alert, always carry a phone and make one another available as a partner if someone doesn’t want to run alone. My heart breaks for their babies, because that is why I leave the house to run, to make me a better mother for them! Love and respect you guys for this!

  18. Lucky, indeed. Thanks, Dim. I look forward to hearing about a minor earthquake on 2/11/12 caused by feet united for Sherry!

    Also, Phoebe sounds very smart. : ) (Thanks for the quote!)

  19. She has been on my mind every day since that sad Saturday morning
    I have thought of her on each of the runs I had the chance to take…I dedicated my last race to her and I will run on the 11th in her memory..I am like many others, I will never forget her

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