#MilesForMollie Tweets Dedicated To Mollie Tibbetts Show The Power Of The Running Community
If you think of running as an individual sport, there's a good chance that you've never dedicated yourself to it. Sure, you may often run alone and you usually compete alone, but there's a camaraderie that exists between you and everyone else who puts on their shoes and gets themselves out there, rain or shine, hot or cold, to push towards some faraway goal on some unknown course. Rarely has that camaraderie ever been so evident as with the #MilesForMollie tweets dedicated to Mollie Tibbetts, the University of Iowa student who tragically lost her life while she was just out for a run.
The hashtag began spreading over the weekend on Twitter, with hundreds of runners of all stripes jumping in to add their own messages, and even Runner's World magazine picking up the story and giving the hashtag even more visibility. #MilesForMollie stories included some women saying that they wouldn't give up their chances to lace up and run in Tibbetts' honor, and others sharing their experiences of being harassed on the road — a frequent occurrence for female runners, which Tibbetts sadly experienced as well, according to CNN. It didn't stop there, though — there were also men there pledging to help build a world where women can run everywhere safely, and entire running teams dedicating their weekly training runs to Tibbetts.
Maybe you're not a runner yourself — but after reading a couple of these tweets, you might just want to go out and grab yourself a pair of running shoes.
1. Don't Let Fear Stop You
Knowing Tibbetts' story, it becomes evident that women really do have something to fear while running — but as long as you're taking basic safety precautions and not putting yourself in overly dangerous situations, fear should never be a reason why you didn't go for a run.
2. Don't Let Harassment Stop You
As this Twitter user said, harassment needs to stop — but you're not going to stop it by stopping your runs.
3. Changing The Conversation
The circumstances surrounding Tibbetts' death have been heavily politicized — but not for this Twitter user.
4. All In For Mollie
This was just one of many running teams that dedicated their group runs to Tibbetts.
5. "They Just Want To Live"
For this male runner, Tibbetts' death made him think about his privilege as someone who can go out for a 5 a.m. run without fearing for his life.
6. Not Just Human Runners...
For many, running with a canine companion not only adds fun, but also a feeling of security.
7. A Personal Connection
This message from a woman who went to the same school as Tibbetts' mother and knew the family is such a touching tribute.
8. Getting Back Into It
Tibbetts can't run anymore, and that was enough motivation for this young mother to get back into it.
9. The Beauty In Running
It sounds cliched, but hearing about one runner's tragic story really makes you want to appreciate the beauty in your own runs.
10. If It Affects One Runner...
... it affects all runners.
11. Capturing What's Best About Running
Dog-watching and enjoying the city on a run are truly simple pleasures — and they should be all that a woman needs to expect on her run.
12. Individual No More
Even if you're not a runner, you can still appreciate the feeling of togetherness that displays like this engender.
13. There's Always That Feeling...
Nothing is forcing you to get off the couch and run — but the drive to honor Tibbetts had this Twitter user feeling otherwise.
14. Winning For Mollie
For the millions of runners who aren't elite racers, you don't have to win a prize for your race to count as a victory — most of the time, just crossing that finish line is victory in itself. This Twitter user went out and claimed that victory — and a win in her age group — for Tibbetts, and she was one of many to do exactly that.
"This is the most beautiful tribute," someone who knew Tibbetts posted on Twitter. "Mollie always said that runners have a special bond with one another. She would truly love this."
So if you're in any doubt about how to honor the memory of this young woman and avid runner, that will pretty much seal the deal. And the running community, no matter your pace or your running goals, will happily welcome you in.