Processing the Cleveland Marathon

I have had a hard time processing all the events from last week’s Cleveland Marathon. More than a week has gone by, and I’m still trying to put to words how I’m feeling.

The highs – the Ambassador race VIP dinner, working the Expo with fellow Ambassadors, and of course finishing the races under less-than-ideal conditions.

But the low – the passing of Taylor Ceepo – has been running through my mind all week.

I’ll start by saying I did not know Taylor. I had never met her. I do not know her family and cannot fathom what they are feeling. Unfortunately the only connection I have to her is running the same race – the Cleveland half marathon – and running by her after she collapsed.

So why do I feel so connected to her? Why on after the race did I have a hard time going to sleep, reliving the moment that I ran by her on the ground, her mom and boyfriend standing over her, each time I closed my eyes? Why did I find myself choked up on my first #RunForTaylor on Wednesday? Why did I find myself hugging my own daughter a little tighter as I thought about what Taylor’s mother must be feeling?

I can’t help but feeling like I don’t have a right to feel this way. I don’t have a right to write a post like this. Who am I to be talking about this at all? But after reading some thoughts from other local runners, I realize I am not alone. We are all grieving for this woman. Because we are all part of a community. One of my running friends and a fellow ambassador Andrew explained it this way:

We [runners] all have different routines, different speeds, and different backgrounds. But we all have two things in common; a goal to finish and a love for running. This is what brings us together.

We lost one of our own this day. And our hearts are broken. Our hearts are broken for the spectators who witnessed [it], the race staff, the runners who shared the course, the first-responders who were unable to revive her. Most importantly, our hearts are broken for the family and friends of this young woman.

So thank you, Taylor, for reminding us of the community that we are part of. For reminding us of how lucky we all are. I will keep on running for you and your family in the weeks ahead. #runfortaylor

7 thoughts on “Processing the Cleveland Marathon

  1. Wow, I hadn’t heard about this, probably because I was out of state & not paying close attention to, while, much of anything while I was away – but I just spent a long time reading, like, everything I could find about this, & I just feel so, so sad for Taylor & her friends & family. And for the entire Cleveland running community.

    I think it’s completely understandable that, even if you didn’t know her, you feel really struck by this; it’s one of those things, I think, where other marathoners must be thinking, “Could that have been me?” No one runs a marathon expecting to die, expecting to make headlines for anything excerpt, hopefully, a great time – & so it’s all the more alarming & emotional to think about…

  2. This breaks my heart. We usually run this race every year but were out of town this year. We heard about what happened it and we were upset. It is so sad to lose a person in our community, especially someone so young.

  3. I think those that knew her will be comforted by seeing how the running community is handling the news of her passing and openly sharing thoughts like this. Even if you didn’t know her, she was one of “your own” because of the common goal and love for the sport.

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