Runners and spectators who gathered for Wednesday's 36th annual Bluegrass 10,000 awards ceremony took pause to honor the memory of Sarah Hart and offer comfort to her family.
Hart, an athletic, pregnant mother of three, was killed during a morning run in Russell County last month.
In the ensuing weeks, Hart's family has received support from runners across the state.
Eric Marr, race director of the Rock 'n' Roll Lexington Half-Marathon, introduced Hart's family to the crowd in downtown Lexington on Wednesday. He encouraged them to express their love to the family, and the crowd responded with applause.
Details were shared about the Run With All Your Hart four-mile run/walk and 11/2-mile fun run/walk on Aug. 11 in Russell Springs. Proceeds will benefit the Sarah Roberts Hart Foundation, which will provide scholarships for area students pursuing careers in medicine and/or Hart's profession, pharmacy. Those unable to attend the event are encouraged to donate at Runwithallyourhart.com.
Wendell Roberts, Hart's father, spoke briefly on behalf of the family, which included Sarah's husband, Ryan, and their children Avery, Addison and Archer. Also on hand were Sarah's sister, Elizabeth, and Sarah's mother, Cindy.
"Each time I've talked today, it's gotten harder and harder," Wendell Roberts said. "Because I lost a beautiful daughter. They've lost a mother and a wife. So continue to keep us in your prayers as we face what is ahead of us without Sarah."
Roberts said that each mile of the four-mile Run With All Your Hart would be dedicated to Sarah's children — the first mile for Avery, the second for Addison, the third for Archer and the fourth for the unborn Alexander.
"It's encouraging, of course, knowing that they stuck around," Roberts said after addressing the crowd. "It's encouraging to know that there is a community that is supporting us. And, I might add, it's a community of faith, and that's all that's gotten us through this whole mess."
Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.