The running community mourns the loss of former Mountain Pointe High School runner Sally Meyerhoff who was hit by a truck while biking today as part of her triathlon training. As the news is getting out and heartbreak is setting in, it might be a good time to remember just what Sally meant to the entire running community….especially to all of us who knew her here in Arizona.
Sally graduated from Mountain Pointe High School in 2002 as one of Arizona's top all time prep runners. She qualified for Foot Locker Nationals her senior year (2001) finishing in 12th place and won 7 individual Arizona State 5A track championships.
Sally went on to run for Duke University where she broke into the record books in several events. As a freshman she recorded a #4 Duke All-Time 5000 meter run time of 16:42.51 and improved to 16:22.94 her sophomore year.
As a junior Sally won All-American honors with a 17th place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. She also finished 13th in the 3000 meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships and ran the 4th fastest mile in school history with a 4:45.75.
Her senior year, Sally again won All-American honors with a 7th place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10,000 meter run and holds the 3rd fastest time in Blue Devil history with a 33:39.53. That same year the Duke women finished 3rd at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
After college Sally moved back to Phoenix and into the Marathon arena where she qualified for the Olympic Trails after her debut marathon run at the 2008 Arizona PF Chang's Rock 'N Roll Marathon running a 2:42.45.
In 2009 Sally became the US Record holder in the 10 mile at the Cherry Blossom Race in Washington D.C. finishing with a time of 54:38.
In December, 2010 Sally made her first attempt at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championships and won. Her time on the 12.9 mile course was 1:28.58 finishing 8 minutes ahead of the next competitor.
And in January of this year she won the Arizona PF Chang's Rock 'N Roll Marathon, in front of a hometown crowd with a winning time of 2:37:55. She was the first American women and the first from Arizona to win the race. Two months earlier Meyerhoff qualified for her second Olympic Trails with her run in the New York City Marathon.
Sally had many more accomplishments than are listed here and in her latest blog (dated March 6, 2011), she wrote about her training, her recent trip to Costa Rica, her new sponsor "Jack Black" and her love of running. She talked about how her training is improving each week and how great it is to have a coach who inspires her. "It's a lot more fun knowing he works so much harder than I do!," she writes.
She finished her blog with this statement:
"I cannot express how HAPPY I am with where I am in my life right now though, and how grateful I feel for being able to do what I do. I just wouldn't trade it for anything and any time I am feeling not very motivated, I think about how miserable I feel when I am not training or doing something else I don't LOVE. I totally and completely love this life I'm living and the most fabulous thing is that I know it's only going to get 20 times better by the end of the year. Woo hoo baby!"
Sally was scheduled to run the "Mountain to Fountain 15K" this Saturday and the Lake Pleasant International Distance Triathlon on April 16th. Her training and running was going great and she was looking forward to a bright future.
Sally Meyerhoff was an inspiration to many young runners in Arizona. She will be sorely missed and will be forever in our hearts.
At the top of her blog is a photo of her license plate "RUN SAL" and a quote…………
"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." - Theodore I. Rubin
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