RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Striding toward the Boston Marathon; it is a lofty goal indeed. Training for a race of this magnitude amounts to hundreds of miles, countless sore muscles and endless hills on quiet mornings.
Meg Menzies, the devoted mother of three, was a dedicated, hard-core runner. Meg was honing her Boston Marathon skills on January 13, when she was killed by an alleged DUI driver in Hanover County.
Menzies’ death left heavy hearts and a huge void on the track.
“It is very intense,” says runner Heather Kloepping from Richmond, who ran the Boston Marathon with Meg Menzies in 2012.
Running can be one of the most solitary challenges in sports.
“I’m out here training for Boston this year,” says runner Kevin Bumgarner.
During their months long practice sessions though dozens of members of the Richmond Road Runners Club lean hard on each other for support, whether at practice runs through city streets or the manicured track at St. Christopher’s School.
“Our core group trains together. Sticks together and work hard together,” says member Travis Gatesman.
Coach Mike Davi, who has run Boston a dozen times before, helps guide novice and expert runners alike.
“Every year I go up to Boston it holds a special meaning,” says Davi. “There is a lot of hard work we put in. We’ve run a lot of miles.”
Come Monday though Davi’s team will be tasked with more than just the physical burdens along the historic 26.2 mile course because an important member of their running family is missing.
“I wish she could be there with us. There is not a day that I run that I don’t feel her presence,” says Kloepping. “Now I’m training again to run not only what happened in Boston, but also run it as hard as I can for Meg.”
Meg inspired people across the globe just days after her death. From Switzerland to Seattle more than 90,000 people pledged their runs during the Meg’s Miles event. Across the world, on a daily basis, people make dedications to Meg, on the Facebook page Meg’s Miles.
“She is constantly in our thoughts,” says coach and friend of Menzies, Mike Davi.
“It is really tough this year,” Bumgarner says. “Definitely, definitely, I’m going to think about her every step of the way.”
Three months after her death, despite her absence, Meg is still pushing her fellow runners here in Richmond to reach their special goal.
“You know we have had some of those runs where there are some strange breezes that blew in out of nowhere,” Bumgarner says. “And we said you know, ‘I think Meg is there helping us finish that last mile.”
Many Richmond Roadrunners are dedicating their marathon miles to Meg.
“Her drive rubbed off on you,” says runner Travis Gatesman.
Their training will pay off come Monday in downtown Boston, when the Richmond Road Runners cross the finish line along with the spirit of their friend.
“Meg was the strongest runner,” says Menzies’ friend and fellow marathon runner Kloepping. “I really feel that she is with us here more than any other place. And I know I’ll feel that same way in Boston.”
An expected one million spectators will line the route. CBS 6 will have coverage of the Boston Marathon when it takes place on Monday.
CBS6’s Greg McQuade and photojournalist Jesse Burkett will be there live to show you how the city has recovered from the terrorist attacks and share the journey of central Virginia’s runners as they compete in the race.
CBS 6 will be meeting Richmond runners at Meg’s memorial in Boston.
Click here to read past coverage of Meg Menzies.