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2012-12-20 digital edition

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2012-12-20 / Sports

Why I Run

A family’s journey


Team Liz consisted of Kim Bexley, Amanda Dowdy, Dan Dowdy, Lauren Dowdy, Rhonda Dowdy, Sam Dowdy, Jr., Scott Husband, Kara Iselt, Lisa Iselt, Bradley Patschke, Jeffrey Patschke, Jennifer Patschke, Rodney Patschke, Shannon Patschke, Tiffany Patschke, Blane Rodgers, Hailey Rodgers, and several of Sam, Jr.’s friends. They are all seen above in the hotel lobby before heading out the door early Sunday morning, December 9, to run what was, for most of them, the first time they had ever participated in a marathon! Team Liz consisted of Kim Bexley, Amanda Dowdy, Dan Dowdy, Lauren Dowdy, Rhonda Dowdy, Sam Dowdy, Jr., Scott Husband, Kara Iselt, Lisa Iselt, Bradley Patschke, Jeffrey Patschke, Jennifer Patschke, Rodney Patschke, Shannon Patschke, Tiffany Patschke, Blane Rodgers, Hailey Rodgers, and several of Sam, Jr.’s friends. They are all seen above in the hotel lobby before heading out the door early Sunday morning, December 9, to run what was, for most of them, the first time they had ever participated in a marathon! Few people could ever understand (thankfully) what it would be like to lose your whole world in a flash. But there are those among us who have lived it, and who continue to heal, often times, while taking us along with them.

Last summer, a horrific traffic accident took the life of a young mother, Elizabeth (Herro) Dowdy, her two young boys, Fischer and Benjamin, and her unborn child, Hayes.


Crossing the finish line are a friend of Sam’s, Dan Dowdy, Sam Dowdy, Jr., Lauren Dowdy, Rhonda Dowdy, and Amanda Dowdy! Crossing the finish line are a friend of Sam’s, Dan Dowdy, Sam Dowdy, Jr., Lauren Dowdy, Rhonda Dowdy, and Amanda Dowdy! Elizabeth, a.k.a. “Liz” to family and friends, grew up in Lexington and married one of her childhood friends, Sam Dowdy, Jr., who was also brought up in Lexington.

Most of us know the story of the accident, but that’s not what this story is all about. This story picks up at a point where Liz had been in December of last year - at the Dallas Marathon - the last marathon she had participated in before her tragic death.

This story brings us to her husband, Sam, Jr., who decided, shortly after the loss of his family, to run in this year’s Dallas Marathon, in memory of her and his children. He told his family and friends about his intention, and they rallied around him, commiting to take part in the marathon too. From that, Team Liz was formed.

One of their family members, and a team member, Shannon Patschke said, “Last summer after the accident, I saw Sam and he told me he wanted to run the Dallas Marathon in honor of Liz. He asked me to run it with him, and wanting to do something for him and for Liz’s memory, I said, ‘Sure!’ But the thing is, I had never run a marathon before! I left him and realized what I had just promised to do. I was terrified, but determined... as were all of us who became a part of Team Liz. Then, on Sunday, December 9, Team Liz was in Dallas, and we ran!”

Shannon continued, “Most of us ran the half marathon, which is 13.1 miles, but Sam and his mom, Rhonda, his sister, Amanda, his brother, Dan, and his sister-in-law (Liz’s sister), Lauren, all ran the full 26.2 miles! It was the best experience of my life!”

The other members of the team had the same sentiment as Shannon. This wasn’t about any of them. It was about family, and love, and friends, and memories, and healing.

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