Many of you know that I run in Richmond, Virginia each November to honor the memory of Meg Cross Menzies. But, some may not. This is why I run...
I cannot remember exactly how I first heard of Meg’s tragic passing, but I do know that back in early 2014, I, along with thousands across the world, ran miles to honor Meg. I was a fairly new runner at that time, having been running for just a couple of years. I felt an immediate connection to Meg as I was also a mom to three small children, two boys and a little girl, and I often left them to go run in the early morning hours.
I started posting my runs regularly on the Megsmiles Supporters Facebook page and connecting with many of the men and women who also posted. In the world of social media many public pages can be filled with judgment and negativity, but the Megsmiles group always seemed to be full of hope, uplifting posts, and real people truly encouraging others. I found great inspiration from so many of the posts.
I was overcome by all of the amazing pictures and posts that were shared when the Megsmiles community came together at RVA in 2014. I knew that although Virginia was clear across the country, and I didn’t know a single person who posted on the page, that this was a place I needed to be.
I participated in an event the following February called DECLARE IT DAY—a chance to publicly state a goal that was important to me and that I wanted to crush. My DECLARE IT DAY goal was to step out of my comfort zone, travel to Virginia and to run the Richmond Half Marathon with my Megsmiles friends. My written goal said exactly that, “with my Megsmiles friends” because that is what this group had become to me—even before I had met a single person.
Fast forward to RVA 2015 and Andres and I traveled to Virginia and had an amazing experience. So much so that we came back again in 2016—how could we not? Running those two half marathons along with so many Megsmiles supporters was amazing. I was a bit shy in 2015 and didn’t meet many people. Last year I opened up a bit more and connected with so many wonderful people. After finishing the half marathon I spent hours on the epic cheer hill, alongside so many others, and cheered every single last runner in. It was life-changing.
That night at the celebratory dinner my sweet friend Lashell whispered in my ear that it was now my time to run a marathon. I do not exaggerate when I say that I had ZERO desire to EVER run a marathon. None at all. But something about being there, and running for Meg with all of these wonderful people who were all brought together to honor Meg hit me. I knew I’d run my first marathon at RVA.
So last Saturday I did what I set out to do… I tackled 26.2. I wore my Meg bib and she was with me during every single step. I am so grateful to her family, Pamela and Wirt and Howard for sharing Meg’s legacy with all of us and for embracing total strangers who have now become family. I’m already counting down to our return next year, and marathon #2…only 357 days to go!
The TwoTim47.com Podcast Series Tracking Julie's First Marathon
Crossing The Finish Line
Let the Journey Begin
Julie Bravo - The First Marathon In Pictures
Julie Bravo Richmond Marathon - November 11, 2017 - 4:54:59