Funeral services are being held as I write this for marathoner Ryan Shay (May 4, 1979 — November 3, 2007). It seems strange to reflect that someone so close to the top of a too-short running career was born just a few months before I began running. Among other things, it makes me reflect on how blessed I am to still be doing it.
This article on Shay in today’s Detroit Free Press–an account of how he and his wife Alicia Craig met and married–is a must-read. Warning: have Kleenex at the ready. Emphasis added:
Since the engagement ring hadn’t arrived, Ryan had a formidable backup. He reached into his pocket, pulled out his Notre Dame class ring, and slid it onto her finger. They were married July 7  in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
The last time Alicia saw her husband alive was in Central Park, 5 miles into the Olympic trials race. Ryan was easy to spot — he wore red running gloves.
A half-mile later, he collapsed and died.
“Everyone is having such a difficult time trying to know why this would happen,” Alicia said, fighting tears. “God blessed my life with an amazing man. I want people to know that their prayers are effective. I can feel the Lord strengthening me.
“Even this morning, laying in bed, I didn’t know how I could move to make it through another day. But God is good. He’s helping me every step of the way.”