On May 22, 2011, my hometown of Joplin, Missouri, was almost wiped off the map by an EF5 tornado. With winds over 200 miles per hour, the multi-vortex tornado devastated everything in its path. We lost 161 lives and an entire third of our city.
The remainder of the school year was canceled because many buildings were destroyed. A major hospital was hit, yet managed to treat victims while natural gas fumes filled the air. What started out as a beautiful Sunday turned into a nightmare.
Every year since that tornado, our community hosts the Joplin Memorial Run. This race is all about celebrating our rise from the rubble and honoring the 161 lives lost. The first mile of the half marathon and 5K route is lined on both sides with banners that have the names of all the victims. It’s pretty overwhelming to run through those banners. Some families set up camp by their loved one’s banner, cheering on runners as they pass. I always look for the names of my friends and cousin.
This year’s race was pretty hot and humid, but such a fantastic event. My family runs every year- we wouldn’t miss it. This year, I represented my Peach line by wearing super soft vinyasa crop leggings. Even with the warm temps, I felt comfy as I ran!
You can order a pair for yourself- just $69! Here’s your link: