Alicia Shay

With Ryan Shay's bible.

Alicia Shay, with her husband's bible on the dashboard, near her home in Flagstaff, Arizona     Photo: Photo by Bryce Duffy

The bible was something that held us together. When you lose someone who has become part of who you are, it is unspeakably difficult to get up every day and put one foot in front of the other. I couldn't have done it without God's help. I met Ryan at the New York City Marathon in 2005. I knew pretty quickly that we would spend our lives together. We were both trying to make the Olympic team. Had it not been for him, I would have quit running. He helped me through an injury and refined what I thought I was capable of. He did that for everyone. Ryan was almost like a big brother to the running community, and we've all shared the grief of losing him. But I'm ready to start running again. I feel good, like my old self. And given everything that's transpired in New York, from meeting the love of my life there to losing the love of my life there, I want to face that race again.

Ryan Shay, 28, died from a heart arrhythmia while competing in the 2008 Olympic Trials, held in New York City the day before the 2007 marathon. Alicia Shay, 28, who'd married Ryan four months earlier, is once again pursuing a career in professional running.

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