In August of 2016, 27 year old Vanessa Marcotte went for a run on a rural road in her Massachusetts hometown and was tragically murdered. At the same time I was recovering from a debilitating and painful heart condition called chronic pericarditis which sidelined me from running—and life—for months on end. Earlier that spring I disqualified myself from a half marathon that I had trained for due to my health and spent that same summer resting and recovering. I vividly remember hearing Vanessa’s story and it touched me in a way I won’t forget. She was just like me. She is me. She is all of us.
These days I still see a lot of myself in Vanessa, as like her, I am a young female runner living in NYC and I travel home often, running sneakers in hand. This race is incredibly important to me as I have spent the last 4 years waiting to be healthy enough to run 13.1 and being able to accomplish this goal is even more important because of why I’m running. If you’re a female and especially a female runner you know what harassment looks like, you know what it feels like—that uneasy feeling, that pit in your stomach that won’t go away, and that gut feeling that says get to safety. In my 9 years as a runner I have felt it more times that I would like to count.
This March, I’m running for myself but I’m also running for Vanessa and all of us. More than 600 women are assaulted each day. It has to end. The Vanessa T. Marcotte Foundation achieves this goal by partnering with organizations that provide educational programs and mentorship opportunities to promote female empowerment and gender equality aiming to reduce violence against women in our society. Please help support my efforts as I accomplish this goal! Thank you so much in advance.