Meg Cross Menzies was out for a morning jog earlier this week, about a mile from her home.
The location is also a couple miles from where I live.
At 8:15 AM, she was struck by a Toyota Sequoia SUV, driven by Dr. Michael Carlson.
Carlson is a 47-year old internal medicine specialist, living with a form of leukemia.
The driver had a registered .11 percent blood-alcohol level on this Monday morning.
(The presumed intoxication limit here in Virginia is .08 percent)
Meg (pictured) died at the scene of the accident.
Meg’s Miles and Meg Smiles
From the Meg’s Miles Facebook page:
Meg Cross Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver while out for her morning run on January 13, 2014. As an avid runner, member of the Richmond Road Runners Club, and Boston marathoner, she was a member of the running family nationwide. In her honor, our hope is to raise awareness of drunk driving, texting and driving, and overall safety of runners and cyclists everywhere.
This Saturday, January 18, 2014, no matter what your distance, no matter where you live, run for Meg.
Take in the fresh air, be aware of your surroundings, keep your headphones on low, feel the heaviness in your lungs, the soreness in your legs, and be grateful for it–for all of it.
The sweat, the pain, the wind, the cold…everything.
Be grateful for that moment.
Feel free to post pictures of yourself pre-run or post-run, post your distance, post your thoughts, prayers, condolences with the hashtag #megsmiles. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
Let all runners unite together and remember the loss of a beautiful spirit.
It’s not a coincidence the hashtag reads either “Meg’s Miles” or “Meg Smiles.”
She will be smiling on all of us forevermore.
Running Gear for #megsmiles
People across the country can also show their support for Meg’s family through the purchase of a bonfirefunds designed shirt:
A $15 t-shirt purchase creates a donation of $5 to the family.
You can also add an additional donation to your purchase, which is what I chose to do.
Keep Running for Meg’s Miles
I’m not a runner although I am a cyclist on the same roads that Meg had run.
I have also been outspoken about the dangers of distracted drivers (especially those who text while driving – as highlighted in this other blog post).
I’ve almost been hit multiple times as a cyclist and as a pedestrian.
Further awareness about the dangers of distracted driving may occur in light of this tragedy.
However, I can’t rationalize why tragedies like this occur, but they do sadly happen.
Both here in my community and in your’s.
Life is terribly fragile.
I know it is a cliche, but make the most of every day.
You just never know.
And keep pushing yourself to go that extra mile.
Even when you have every reason not to.
Do it in honor of Meg Menzies
Not just this Saturday, but every day.
Meg was a proud mother of three young children.
Her surviving husband serves on the local police department.
The Precious Gift of Life
As evident in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and now in my own town in Virginia, I recognize there is a powerful bond in local communities and in the running family nationwide.
Social media fuels the compassionate response, but individuals ignite the fire.
I conclude therefore not with my words, but those of another runner (pictured) Solomon Morris Whitfield.
Solomon posted these comments on Meg’s Miles Facebook page:
I don’t know you; we were never friends, not even acquaintances. However, we do/did share one common interest: running.
I ran 6 miles early this morning; it was dark, it was foggy; and the whole time I thought of you and how your life was tragically cut short due to the negligence of a drunk driver.
Though I don’t know you, and never will, what I do know more so now thanks to you, is just how short and more importantly how precious life really is.
I think about your family, your friends; and all those who actually did know you that you left behind.
Though I didn’t know you; you have reminded me just how precious the gift of running can be.
I will no longer complain about how tired, how down, how unmotivated I feel because I have been fortunate to be given another day to live, to run, to be with my family.
I know you meant a great deal to many people; and touched many lives perhaps to people you didn’t even know.
I just want you to know that you have motivated me more so than I already was; you have shown me that life is a gift and under no circumstances should be taken for granted.
Each day that I have the opportunity to wake up, see my family and go for a run, I should consider myself very fortunate.
I know over the next several days and weeks, many people will show their tribute to you in a variety of ways. Though we were never friends, I know how important running was to you and I won’t forget your story.
I simply want to say thank you for reminding me of what is really important and how running (and a life) are gifts that can be taken away instantly; and that is something I should never take for granted.
May you rest in peace, and may the peace/comfort be over you and your entire immediate family, and running family.
Me (a random runner)
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