Almost as soon as I got word of the terrible accident involving the Marr family, I got messages from athletes, past and present, about putting on a race for the family.
I turned to my wife, both of us still reeling from the news and trying to comprehend it all. "Well, it's what we do. Running and races."
She had been there before. When we put on the Paul Driskill fundraiser, it felt like a natural thing to do. When my dad died in a car accident, it was on runs around my hometown that I had the time and space to think and reflect.
When I was a senior in high school, a good friend and classmate died in a car accident. It was in the middle of our cross country season and, following his death, there was never discussion of not running. Running was our therapy and I'll never forget the tear-filled race I ran immediately following that tragic event.
On Saturday, we will come together at the Miles for the Marrs race to show our unity, love and community spirit. Regardless of weather, the race starts at 10 a.m. at Glenwood Springs High School. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the cost is $10 or whatever donation you see fit. All proceeds benefit the Marr family.
The 5K course will be run on the bike path but will have options to cut it short for less motivated walkers or runners. A thorough supply of traction screws will be on hand to provide extra grip if the path is slippery. They are easily removable after the race.
Hot cocoa, cider, coffee and the usual cookies and donuts will be there to warm cold bodies of runners or anyone who wants to come out in support of the race.
The next day, the annual Jingle Bell Run takes place in Carbondale at 11 a.m. from the Independence Run and Hike store. The popular event supports the Perpetual Prosperity Pumps Foundation and local cross country teams. Run both events and you'll feel a little better about whatever holiday indulgence you decide to consume.
I hope to see many warm faces on Saturday morning, in snow or in sunshine. It will be a great reminder of our upcoming holiday season, when we should all take a moment to be thankful and to hug our loved ones a little closer. The moments after a chilly 5K is always a good time for a hug.
- Mike Schneiter is a Glenwood Springs High School teacher and coach, owner of Glenwood Climbing Guides and is a Brooks Inspire Daily athlete.