Yesterday I participated in the 3rd Annual Chief Maloney Unity Run. Chief Maloney was a dedicated member of the Greenland Police Department. The Chief was set to retire in May of 2012. He was working, when he was shot to death during a drug raid.
I had just started a job in Greenland when this horrible tragedy happened. I was at my friends’ house drinking wine, telling them about my new job when I got a phone call stating that the shelter I run needed to be evacuated because of a stand off less than a half a mile away. I was perplexed, as Greenland, NH is this sleepy town with less than 5,000 residents. It seemed improbable that this could be happening, but yet it was.
The story developed. The police had gone to a habitual drug offender’s house who they were monitoring for selling narcotics. The raid became violent. Shots were fired, 4 officers were badly wounded and one was slain. Chief Maloney gave his life protecting his town and his officers.
I had actually just met the Chief a few weeks earlier. He was friendly, funny- the type of officer you would want to pull you over. It felt very surreal that a man who shook my hand and thanked me for what I do for our community was now dead. All because a man addicted to drugs did not want to go to jail. So tragic. So preventable.
When the police officers and other public servants organized the first unity run in April of 2013 I was honored to participate. I even roped in some of the women I worked with to join me. The race has really grown over the last 3 years. All the proceeds raised at the event go to benefit the families of police officers and other public servants who are slain or injured in the line of duty.
This year, I almost did not participate.I had a million reasons why not to. I have been working a lot. I have not been running. KC and I had tentative weekend plans with his family. I was worried that my time would be a lot worse than last year. I was worried I may need to walk. I was worried that I would be disappointed in myself for not training harder.
The Friday before the race I received a notification reminding me to sign up…Thinking of why the race existed- I was moved to sign up. It was not about me. It was not about how fast or how slow I completed the race. It was about supporting a cause that is bigger than myself. Supporting a community that I love, that still is unified over this terrible tragedy.
Sometimes I run for me. Other times, it is way bigger than me. This race is one of those occasions and I am so happy I was able to be a part of this race for the third time!