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November 6, 2007

ryan shay 5.5 mile memorial run

most folks out there that are reading this that are runners themselves are familiar with the untimely death of ryan shay over the weekend at the 2008 olympic marathon trials in new york on saturday, november 3rd.  ryan collapsed at mile 5.5 and was pronounced dead at lenox hill hospital shortly thereafter. 

this news has rocked the distance running community, as ryan had an incredibly promising career and had already set many records in his years at notre dame and proved himself at distances ranging from 10k to the marathon.  at 28, the prospects of him representing the us in future olympics looked good. 

sure, the loss of a talented distance runner is a tough pill to swallow for the united states, who has only recently started to have a resurgence of talent at the marathon level.  what is harder to swallow, though, is the thought of those that are left behind trying to make sense of the empty space that he once occupied.  his wife, alicia.  his training partners, meb, deena, josh, etc.  his numerous friends and family.

join me in support of them as they process their loss and dedicate your own 5.5 mile run next saturday, november 17th, in memory of ryan.  run the exact distance, or dedicate a 5.5 mile portion of a longer run in his memory.  take the time to recognize life's frailty, to think about those in your life that you need to tell that you love and most of all, pray for those that will feel ryan's absence the most.

thank you.

Posted by jeff at November 6, 2007 6:22 PM

i will run 5.5 for ryan's memory. i can't believe I saw him 15 minutes before he fell and never knew what happened to him until after the race.
i'll get my running mates to do it too. thanks for leading the pack on this one.

Posted by: david at November 6, 2007 7:02 PM

That is a really nice sentiment. I'm there and I will put the work out to my run club.

Posted by: 21stCenturyMom at November 6, 2007 8:41 PM

Great sentiments, Jeff, and great idea for tribute and reflection. I'll take you up on that.

Posted by: Donald at November 6, 2007 9:15 PM

Delurking to say that I'm in.
If it's ok, I will post something on my blog, too.

Posted by: GeekGirl at November 7, 2007 7:07 AM

Just add it to my schedule coach.

Posted by: Juls at November 7, 2007 9:22 AM

I think thats a great idea. Is it ok if I refer to this on my blog?

Posted by: Akshaye at November 7, 2007 11:39 AM

Great idea, jeff. Thanks for the inspiration.

Posted by: darrell at November 7, 2007 12:09 PM

This is a great idea, very fitting, and a good way for every runner to pay tribute to Ryan. I will definitely participate. Thank you for this!

Posted by: Mir at November 7, 2007 1:20 PM

I will definitely take 5.5 miles out of my 50 at JFK to remember Ryan and think of his family.

Posted by: Elizabeth at November 7, 2007 1:38 PM

Fabulous idea, Jeff...I'll pass along to our running club here in West Lafayette, Indiana.

I'm going long on Saturday and had already planned a single 5 mile loop in front of a 23 mile section. I'll modify that to have a 5.5 mile loop first, in Ryan's memory.

Posted by: Joe at November 7, 2007 3:19 PM

i have five miles on the schedule - i'll make sure to up it to 5.5.

Posted by: angie's pink fuzzy at November 7, 2007 7:27 PM

I'm in. Thanks Jeff.

Posted by: Rich at November 7, 2007 9:47 PM

It's a great idea and my DH and I will definitely do the 5.5. If it's okay with you I'll let his family know about this when I travel north for the funeral. This will make them smile.

Posted by: AGA at November 8, 2007 12:31 PM

Comment (part II):
How about I do Thursday's workout on Friday (since I have yet to run and it is getting late and is already DARK),
and my 5.5 mile run (previously Friday's 5-7mi) on Saturday?

I'll have plenty left for Sunday.

Posted by: Juls at November 8, 2007 6:18 PM

Comment (Part III): I guess I have to see things several times before it sinks in. I thought the run was *this* Saturday. Now that I see it on Anne and Mark's blogs with the date really obvious, I get it....November 17th.

PS. I'd comment on their blogs but my work computer doesn't let me comment on blogger. It freaks out and I have to end my internet session.

Posted by: Juls at November 9, 2007 8:17 AM

I'm in.

Posted by: Robb at November 9, 2007 12:24 PM

One of an informal group (Shaman Runners) I run with sent this out. Several of us will be out on Saturday November 17th in Ryan's memory. Life is precious, all the more so when we can share it with others running. Our thoughts are prayers are with Ryan's family.

Sean, Pittsburgh PA

Posted by: Sean O'Rourke at November 9, 2007 1:44 PM