On Saturday, thousands of runners across the world are dedicating their miles to Meg Menzies, a Boston Marathoner and mother of 3 young children who was struck and killed by a drunk driver on her morning run earlier this week in Richmond, VA. Meg was an alumn of VCU (where I went to college, as well) and I know a lot of people who knew Meg indirectly through the Richmond running community, and a couple of people who knew her directly. It’s a sad tragedy, but Saturday’s event isn’t just to remember her, it’s also to raise awareness on drunk driving. I lost a friend in college to drunk driving, so this is something that’s really close to my heart.
You can find more info on Meg and the event here.
Also, if you’re doing a group run Saturday, someone created a bib you can print out and wear to spark conversation on the cause. I’ll be wearing one as I run 7 with my half marathon training group.
Drunk driving is something that we all hear about but most people don’t take seriously unless they’ve known someone that’s been affected by it. A lot of awareness campaigns encourage people to make the decision to take a cab if you’re too drunk. Unfortunately, drinking affects one’s judgement. This is why you should plan ahead–don’t leave the decision to when it’s time to go. Think about how many drinks you’ll have, and stick to that. Tell yourself that if you go over the number you set, you’re getting a cab, no matter if you “feel” okay. My friend who killed himself drunk driving wasn’t belligerently drunk, he had only had a couple of beers. In fact, he was probably just under the legal limit. Buzzed driving is also impaired driving.
Similarly, take your friends’ keys if you suspect they’re not good to drive. I got into several (screaming) fights with friends in college because I took their keys and they “insisted” they were okay. One time, I thought the person wasn’t ever going to talk to me again. At the end of the day, they all thanked me later for it.
Don’t drink and drive people. Not only are you putting your own life at risk, but the lives of those around you.