A Father and Runner Lost
In the afternoon, I saw a Facebook post from my running friend Donna about the loss of a runner. I learned that Michael was struck and killed by a car on the return loop of an out-and-back around Downing and Speer in Denver. A father struck down the day before father's day. I was shocked and didn't know how to process this news. Why does someone have to die doing something that's supposed to improve your health and quality of life.
Michael loved to run and had qualified for Boston. A divorced dad who had run New York and Chicago Marathons. He was certainly looking forward to lacing them up in Hopkinton. Like me, he was in technology working for Comcast. He lived in my childhood home of Littleton, Colorado. As my wife read the posts on Facebook from his loved ones, she cried. His story read like mine. I can't understand why someone had to die before his time.
|Shoe memorial at the scene|
Most runners have had close calls as we all run on the sidestreets where we live. I've "tapped" many a car's right rear quarter panel as drivers pull into traffic only looking for cars. Drivers turning right onto a street most often only look to their left for oncoming cars. Cars run red lights and speed through yellow lights. Too many people can't set down their phones while driving. Texting about life's mundane bullshit. Nothing worth the cost of a life. I've been guilty of texting and have trained my kids to "call me on it" if they catch me trying to work while driving. I have also run into intersections that I probably shouldn't have.
"I will miss you."
"You always believed in me more than I ever could."
"What a genuine guy!"
"I so appreciate the faith you had for me about getting into Boston."
It's ridiculous to think of any words that can make sense of this. Michael's passing makes you realize how precious life is and to try to make the most of time you've got. Even though I didn't know him well at all, he's made an impression on me as clearly a great man that died doing something he loved. It makes me wish I got to know him better. I'm sure he will influence me and many others to be as careful as possible when we walk out the door for a run. I'm also sure that should I run Boston next April, I will wear his name or say a prayer for Michael although I barely knew ye. My thoughts and prayers are with Michael's loved ones who are coping with his passing.