Posted: Feb 10, 2013 11:14 AM by Beth Beechie - MTN News
Updated: Feb 10, 2013 7:18 PM
GREAT FALLS - A year after Sherry Arnold's death, running groups and communities still remember her love of the sport through a 5k memorial event on Saturday in Great Falls.
"It hurts every time you think of something like this," Kristina Smith, coordinator of the event said. "Even though I didn't know Sherry, it hurts."
And for runners all around Montana, what happened in Sidney struck a chord.
"I grew up in a small town so when I heard of her it was just, it just hit home because I've been out on a country road by myself before," Amanda Murray said.
While Shannon Potter, another runner, added "I run by myself all the time and I just think it's good to be aware no matter where you are, small town or big town."
The second Annual Sherry Arnold Memorial Run had many goals: uniting runners with other runners in the area, exchanging safety tips for men and women while out running and realizing the vulnerabilities runners may have while jogging.
"It's a heavy weight to think about," Smith said. "And it's also-- it brings to mind if some of us who have had similar circumstances."
Several racers said running provides an inner peace and can be extremely therapeutic. And while most run each day to better themselves, this weekend it was for Arnold.
Even local organizations like Get Fit Great Falls showed up to remember her and provide outlets for runners looking to be more cautious while jogging.
"Seek out groups that you can be engaged with to be physically active together as groups," Paul Lloyd-Davies said.
But Smith brought to light that sometimes, it's hard to find a running buddy 100% of the time.
"We can lean on each other and always with the thought that things can happen and are out of our control. You know, even if we have to go along, there are things that we can do," she said. "It's just so crucial."
The Saturday morning event wasn't a timed event as the focus was on safety. And a couple lucky participants walked away with running tools and accessories to ensure runners' safety.
Arnold, the former Sidney High School math teacher, went missing on Jan. 7, 2012 while on a morning run. She was later found to be murdered by two transients passing through the area.