Running for the Fallen-April Edition
I took all of last week off to let my body recover from the half in Moab. I was feeling some pain in my shins (dang shin splints!) and had some weird soreness in my ankle. I’m feeling much better this week and just trying to get the weather to cooperate with me now so I can get outside and run some!
I have roughly 12 days to my half down in Colorado.
I have been excited for this race ever since I started Two Little Feet. This one seems to be just a little extra special than the previous 3.
When I launched Two Little Feet, I received an email from Julia. She immediately expressed her support and went on to tell me about her younger sister Anne. I remember hearing about Anne’s death, and I remember feeling sadness. That same summer was my little sister’s first summer on the fire line. I worried about her all summer. So when I heard from Julia I immediately connected with her being the older sibling.
I told Julia I would feel honored to run a race in memory of Anne.
That’s how running the races in memory of the fallen was born.
I was excited to meet Julia at my February race!
I am also excited to announce that Julia will also be running the April race which is the Platte River Half Marathon.
She’s much speedier than me (even with my new found speedy-ness) and I’m excited to see (from a few miles behind) what she can do on race day!
Julia was kind enough to contribute a few words about Anne. I feel its only appropriate since I couldn’t come anywhere close to the amazing things she has to say!
“Anne was not only my little sister, she was my best friend. We joked that she was my little ‘big’ sister, since she could easily rest her chin on my head when she hugged me. There were times that I forgot she was younger than me: her poise, experiences and character made her seem so mature and grown up. Anne had a fashion sense that I will never have; she looked like a long legged blonde model when she dressed up—but was just as comfortable in basketball shorts, a tank top, cowboy boots and sunglasses.
I am reminded of her every day in the little things: doing push-ups since she was the queen of push-ups (and working out—she was the fittest, strongest girl I know); every time I drive or do something with my car—since it was her car first before she bought her truck and since she knew far more than I ever will about cars with her automotive degree; anytime I hear a country song—one that she loved, one that reminds me of her, or one that I can see her rocking out to in her truck; when my stomach hurts, when I wear flannel, when I see Victoria Secret stores, the list can go on and on.
Anne was almost done with her second season of wildland fire when she was killed. She loved the crews she worked with and friendships she made, the challenge of hard work and being outside, the chance to push herself, whether it was in PT or digging line, the opportunity to work in nature. I admired her, and my older brother who also fought wildland, for their strength, dedication and grit. I was never tough enough to cut it firefighting. I remember Anne laughing as I struggled to lift her pack with both arms; she deftly lifted it with one hand and shouldered the load. Seasonal firefighting made such an impact on her that she considered continuing on her education that fall in fire management in addition to her automotive associate’s degree. The last time I talked to Anne, she said how much she loved the North Fork but that she was excited to come home and see the family. “I’m really excited to see you all!!!! I love you tons!”
Some day we will see her again.
I feel honored to be able to run with Ashley for Two Little Feet for the Fallen in memory of all the fallen wildland firefighters, but especially to remember and honor Anne. It is somehow fitting that the race is a day after she would have turned 22 years old.”
I am so excited to run in Anne’s memory. To honor her. To celebrate her life! To celebrate her birthday! I’m excited to celebrate with Julia too.
If you’ve been thinking about donating and are waiting for the right time, NOW is the perfect time! Donate right here!
Please, help me, Julia and the rest of her family celebrate Anne’s life!