Runners to finish Memphis mother Eliza Fletcher's run following fatal kidnapping

·2 min read

Eliza Fletcher was abducted during her morning jog, never finishing the 10-mile route from her home on Sept. 2.

The teacher and mother was later found murdered, prompting heartbreak and outrage from runners around the country. Runners will honor Fletcher, alongside other women who have been victims of violence while running, by taking to the streets themselves and finishing Fletcher's run this week.

"Female runners shouldn't be intimidated or limited and [running] certainly shouldn't be a death sentence," Beth Meadows, the race director at Nashville Running Company, told ABC News.

PHOTO: Memphis police officers search an area where the body of Eliza Fletcher was found, in South Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 5, 2022.  (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)
PHOTO: Memphis police officers search an area where the body of Eliza Fletcher was found, in South Memphis, Tenn., Sept. 5, 2022. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian via AP)

The Nashville Running Company will gather participants at its shop at 4:30 a.m. on Friday in Nashville, around the time when Fletcher was abducted. It'll be a leisurely pace for runners and walkers alike for 3 miles, with no one left behind.

"I think of her as a young mother, as a teacher doing the thing that she does every day," runner Khette Cox told ABC News.

She calls East Nasty Running Club her running family of choice. "To participate tomorrow is a way to say, 'we've got to take care of ourselves and each other in the best way that we can, and we do that together.'"

Meadows said the outpouring from social media has exceeded expectations – proving that "even if you run by yourself, you're part of this running community," Meadows said.

MORE: New details released in Memphis jogger's fatal kidnapping as suspect faces murder charges

"It definitely feels like one of our own was taken," she continued. "You can kind of see that through all the runs popping up. As helpless as we feel, what we know how to do is run."

Several women have been killed during runs in recent years, highlighting the ongoing dangers that face runners.

PHOTO: Memphis police released this undated photo of Eliza Fletcher. (Memphis Police Department)
PHOTO: Memphis police released this undated photo of Eliza Fletcher. (Memphis Police Department)

"We are also running in solidarity with all women runners who must take extra precautions each and every day to feel safe and normal on their runs," the East Nasty Running Club said in a Facebook post.

Organizers for another event in Memphis hope to send the message that women should be able to exercise safely at all times of the day.

Hundreds of runners are expected to gather on Fletcher's running route in Memphis to run 8.2 of the 10-mile run she had planned the day she was murdered.

However, plenty of runners from across the country have said they will be running wherever they are in solidarity.

"I think this just goes to show you the power of the running community here in Nashville and the power of women who are tired of all this," Meadows said.

Runners to finish Memphis mother Eliza Fletcher's run following fatal kidnapping originally appeared on abcnews.go.com