In the wake of 34-year-old teacher Eliza Fletcher’s abduction and murder, community members in the Shelby County area have planned an 8.2-mile run. The event will take place off Central and Belvedere at 4:20 a.m. on Friday, September 9th, and it will follow a course that Fletcher was known to run.
The Facebook Event page for “Let’s Finish Liza’s Run” describes itself as a way to honor Fletcher, noting that their goal is “to stand up for the women in the Mid South and emphasize that women should be able to safely run any time of day.”
According to the Facebook Event page, around 1,900 runners are planning on partaking. The initial intent was to have the event be female-only and have runners wearing pink tank tops and blue shorts. The run is now open to participants of all genders, with runners being encouraged to don bright colors for both solidarities with Fletcher and safety purposes.
“Let’s Finish Liza’s Run” is neither a fundraiser nor a family-sanctioned event that requires sign-ups. Instead, it is a grassroots effort to pay tribute to Fletcher, raise awareness and reclaim the act of a morning run without the fear that oppresses many female runners.
York Avenue residents will leave porch lights on in the early morning hours of the event to welcome participants, as well as provide water at three locations over the 8.2-mile course. No bikes, strollers, or dogs will be allowed.
Those wanting to walk instead are welcome at the event but must finish the trek by 7 a.m. Shuttles will also be available to bus those to the University of Memphis who’d prefer to start there and run four miles instead of finish.