Tennessee Performer Of The Week: Memphis Running Community

Performer of the Week

Normally, we'd use the first articles of the week to conduct a poll to crown the "Tennessee Performer Of The Week" from the numerous high school competitions that occurred throughout the previous seven days.

While there were a lot of runners to highlight (and eventually will), we are foregoing those formalities to draw attention to a running event that occurred in Memphis that I'm sure you've already heard about.

Rachel Randall, Memphis Native and Coach of Houston High School Cross Country, helps summarize the event. 

Finish Liza's Run

The Memphis running community was shook last Friday when reports came out of an abducted runner, Liza Fletcher. Sadly, her body was found days later. Liza was a former high school and college athlete, a mom, a teacher, a coach, and a friend to many. An easy reaction would be one of fear and hate, but instead the running community in Memphis (and throughout the country) rallied together to celebrate Liza and help her finish the run she did not get to finish. Friday morning, thousands of runners met and ran the route that Liza was running. Runners covered the 8.2 mile route from Liza's house to the place of the incident and back.

It was lit with candles, signs of Liza's light hung everywhere, and the path was sprinkled with flower petals. Local running stores provided water, police provided protection, cycling groups helped monitor the course, and people ran and walked and cried and hugged. Thousands of runners and walkers set their alarms for 3:00am and a city came together to celebrate not only a beautiful life, but also the right of women to be out running at 4:30am, and most importantly to finish Liza's run.

-Rachel Randall

And for that, the Memphis Running Community and anyone else who partook in similar memorials to Liza Fletcher are the MileSplit Tennessee's Performers of the Week.