HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - More than 45,000 people have responded to a Facebook invitation to run Saturday in honor of Meg Menzies. The Hanover runner, and mother of three, was killed Monday while on her morning run.
"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," a message on the Meg's Miles Facebook page read.
"This Saturday, January 18, 2014, no matter what your distance, 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," the post continued.
The page encouraged runners to tweet, Instagram and post running photos using the hashtag #megsmiles.
"It's not a coincidence the hashtag reads either 'Meg's Miles' or 'Meg Smiles.' She will be smiling on all of us forevermore," the post read.
When Brooke Roney in Texas learned about her friend’s death in Central Virginia, she wrote an article as a way to remind runners to be safe.
"Runners do their long runs on Saturdays and it just turned into, let’s run in her honor and just went from there," Roney said.
In less than 48 hours, Roney’s idea went viral on social media. As a result, her article blossomed into what is now an international event with over 45,000 people slated to take part.
"A lot of people that are going to run on Saturday didn't know her. But in a sense they did, because they're all runners," said Road Runner Running’s Justin Kendall.
Menzies was running along E. Patrick Henry Rd., near Hickory Hill Rd., Monday morning when she was hit by a 2008 Toyota Sequoia. Investigators charged Dr. Michael J. Carlson, 47, with involuntary manslaughter and D.U.I., according to Hanover County Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Chris Whitley.
Roney hopes her friend’s death will bring more awareness to runner and cycling safety across the country.