The sky was that perfect shade of blue. Just enough wispy clouds lingered to paint the pink, red and orange of sunset across the horizon. The trees, just starting to take on the colors of fall, were reflected in the still waters of the Red River. In short, it was a perfect night for a run.
Of course, most of who gathered to run that night would have run in a torrential downpour with a 20-knot headwind. You see, this was no ordinary run. We were running for Steve.
Steve Terese was the president of the Red River Road Runners. He was a dedicated marathoner, a triathlete, a hunter and a fisherman. But more than any of that, he was a devoted husband and family man, a faithful friend, and a constant encourager. Steve died Sunday. We gathered Wednesday night to do the one thing we knew we could — run through our grief.
As I trained to run my first marathon, Steve made sure to check on my progress along the way. He kept telling me I was going to do great, even when I wasn’t so sure. When I returned from the marathon, Steve wanted to hear all about it. He hung on every word as I described the scene, from the runners expo all the way to the finish line. I don’t know who had a bigger smile on his face, me or him.
Steve loved running, and he was one of the first to welcome me into the running community. I will always be grateful for Steve’s encouragement and support.
My 5-year-old son, Hadley, was with me on Wednesday night. He knew why we were there, but he wasn’t sad. In fact, he was the one who looked at me and said “Come on, Dad, let’s go running.” So that’s what we did.
Hadley and I ran the same trail I used to run with Steve. We talked about what a beautiful night it was and how much fun it was to run together. Before we knew it, we had run almost two miles.
I can’t help but think that Steve was watching us, and smiling the entire time.