The Missing

There is a 52 year old man who coaches cross country and teaches high school geography. A husband. A father. And an avid runner. 3 days ago he went for his morning run and he hasn’t been seen since. He’s known as “The Whitby Jogger”.

I don’t know who this man is. And to my knowledge we’ve never crossed paths. But like no other news item before I find myself combing the headlines and following his story with ardent interest. I pray for his safety and his return to his loved ones.

As runners there is a kindred spirit that unites us all.

When the tragedy in Boston occurred almost 1 year ago it left us all bereaved.

Running is a sport that is about the ultimate in health and fitness. It is about transcending our limitations and seeing how these efforts help us to face down any challenge we may encounter both within and outside of running. So when one amongst us is stricken, fallen, vulnerable, we all feel it as if that runner is our very own blood.

There is a rapport among the running community. We get each other. We respect one another. And we applaud each other on training runs and races alike because we appreciate what we all go through to arrive not only at the finish line but at the start line as well.

Like getting up before our loved ones and going for a run in conditions that are less than ideal. As the gentleman in question, the 52 year old husband and father of 2 did on Monday morning.

His disappearance could’ve been my own disappearance or the disappearance of someone near and dear to me.

I pray that he is safe. I pray that his family stays strong. And I pray for the happiest of endings to this story.

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3 comments

  1. shawnasob · · Reply

    Hey Rod, thanks for posting this. I think as a community we are all praying for him and his family. A grim reminder of how fragile our lives are and how important it is to always put safety first when we are out on the roads or trails.

    1. I had a really bad fall last year that took me away from running for a couple of weeks last February. Nothing obviously that rivals what’s going on in Whitby. But it’s made me much more respectful of what can go wrong. I keep my cell phone with me, in a ziploc bag so it doesn’t get water damage……(I sweat fiendishly!). Health card stays with me all the time too.

      Safety has to be first and foremost. Not just for ourselves but absolutely for the sake of our loved ones. There has been at least one article out advocating for stronger safety amongst runners in light of the Whitby Jogger. One of them being to let someone know where you’ll be running. But as much as I see the wisdom of telling someone in advance where I’ll be running, honestly, I don’t have a set route. And my route can change on a whim. The wind directions, a traffic light that turned red, and a myriad of other factors can change up my intended path.

      I do like your idea of calling your wife every half hour during your training runs. Very smart of you for doing so and/or her for insisting on it 🙂

      1. shawnasob · ·

        I also use an app on my iPhone called cycle meter. I initially got it for biking but it allows you to choose from various activities including running. The best part of this app is the option to provide email updates to whomever you wish. You can choose every 5 minutes to every twenty minutes etc. It sends a nice email with your current location, your pace elevation etc. So if your loved one gets an email and you haven’t moved in five minutes or something’s not right like your pace is now 1 min a kilometer or something you can be found or tracked. I have it on iPhone but I think it’s for android as well

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