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.
:: 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.