More than 2,900 people participated in last weekends “Run with all your Hart” to celebrate the life of Sarah Hart, a Russell County native who was murdered in June while on a morning run.
The event was organized by Hart’s friends and family and had a following that reached beyond the boundaries of Russell County.
Runners and athletes alike from Clinton County also participated in the event, including the entire Clinton County Cross Country team, recently putting the event on its official schedule as a scrimmage run.
Head Coach Dipesh Soma said the event was special to say the least.
“It was a touching atmosphere I will have to say,” Soma said. “You hate to do it for that circumstance, but you knew it was for a good reason. The beginning speech and the ending speech was very touching. Our hearts go out to the Hart family.”
Hart was a pharmacist in Russell County and was pregnant with her fourth child at the time of her death. The four mile race that took place Saturday, August 11, represented one mile for each of her children, Avery, Addison, Archer and Alexander.
“It was a little different than what we are used to doing. We practice about three and a half miles, so it wasn’t much more,” Soma said. “It was technically a scrimmage for us, so I wasn’t worried about the times. I just told them to work on finishing the race without stopping.”
According to the “Run with all your Hart” Facebook page, the race took up four lanes on U.S. 127 and 2,900 people were stacked almost a quarter mile deep at the starting line.
“For the most part, I think they knew what they were there for,” Soma said. “It didn’t hit them as it would older people, but they all knew. It’s going to be an every year thing, so as long as I’m coaching, we are going to participate. It means a lot and I’m glad we were a part of it. With everything I’ve been through it probably touches a little bit more with me even though it’s not along the same lines …”
Glen England picked up second place in his age category with a time of 27:14.
Other times for the cross country team include: Joe Davis – 27:15, Frank England – 27:15, Jackson Harlan – 30:58, Brett Gibson – 31:28, Jadeon Page – 31:28, Jacob Bertram – 32:28, James Morrison – 32:47, Seanae York – 36:42, Garrett Page – 36:43, Alissa Cook – 37:06, Bianca Soma – 39:20, Preslee Thrasher – 45:32 and Coach Soma finished the race with a time of 38:27.
“The course made a heart shape,” Soma said. “I did the run tracker app. It was pretty cool. There was a lot of people who came out to support this family.”
Hart’s alleged attacker, Christopher Allman, 28, was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and tampering with physical evidence.
Cross Country runners Glen England, Joe Davis and Frank England crossed the finish line during Saturday’s “Run with all your Hart” race. The team used the race as a scrimmage, but wanted to show its support by competing in the event. (Photo courtesy of Dan Hedgespeth)