A miniaturized version of one runner who was injured and could not join her friends ended up completing the race.
If you were at Sunday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Vancouver Half Marathon and happened to see three runners taking turns holding a stick with another runner’s photo attached to it, you weren’t imagining the scene.
A group of four women, who have been competing in races together since 2009 when they were joined by a common cause, had planned to run Vancouver as a group. But one of them, Sarah Brouwer, got injured and could not run. So the remaining trio had an idea for Brouwer to “run” with them.
Rhonell Kercheval, Jennifer Schoenwald and Jen Fredrichsen fastened a photo of Brouwer running to a stick and carried her everywhere on race weekend: to the expo, around the city and during the race.
“They knew how much I wanted to be with them so they blew up a picture of me and brought it with them,” Brouwer told Competitor in an e-mail. “They ran the whole half marathon taking turns carrying ‘Sarah on a stick.’ I received lots of very funny texts with pictures of myself all over Vancouver, the expo, and of course the race.”
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The foursome met in 2009 after signing up for a half marathon with Team in Training. Each of them had a loved one battling blood cancer, and today Brouwer’s sister is the only survivor from that group.
“We have been running together ever since that first race, sharing miles and miles of life together,” Brouwer said.
One of them has been running a half marathon every month this year to celebrate turning 50. They planned to race together in Vancouver.
“This race was supposed to be the one we all ran together to celebrate what she has done all year,” Brouwer said.
In a sense, it ended up working out that way.