New award honors the late P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon champion.
Written by: Susan Lacke
A new award was added to the prize list of the PF Chang Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon yesterday to honor the memory of the late Sally Meyerhoff, the 2011 women’s marathon winner.
The Sally Meyerhoff Memorial Trophy, a collage of photographs arranged by Arizona artist Dave Newman, will be given annually to the overall winner of the women’s marathon at the PF Chang Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon. A permanent edition of the trophy will also reside with Meyerhoff’s family.
An All-American at Duke University, XTERRA Trail Run Champion, and Olympic hopeful, Meyerhoff was killed March 8, 2011 when struck by a car while riding her bicycle. She was 27 years old.
“[Sally] had been a local star for years and had made a remarkable impression on the entire running community and with the staff of Competitor Group, both as a world-class athlete and person.” said Tracy Sundlun of Competitor Group. “The idea for a permanent memorial trophy came easily.”
The race bib “F1,” traditionally given to the returning champion or #1 seed in the women’s marathon, was also retired in a ceremony honoring Meyerhoff last week.
In addition to the trophy and retired number, Meyerhoff was memorialized with black ribbons distributed to every entrant in Sunday’s race. There was also a moment of silence before the marathon start. Bib numbers for elite and invited athletes in the full and half marathons feature artwork incorporating the name “Sally.” Additionally, a group of Meyerhoff’s friends, family, and fans ran the race Sunday in her signature pink CEP compression socks and wristbands created in her memory, embossed with “SI4S” (“Smash it For Sally”).
Last Thursday, a “Running Legends Happy Hour” was held at PF Chang’s waterfront restaurant in Scottsdale. Twenty six percent of food and beverage sales at this event were donated to the Sally Meyerhoff Foundation, which was set up by her family in 2011 to help aspiring runners and triathletes.
The support from the running community has been overwhelmingly positive, says Sundlun.
“Sally struck everyone the same way: The world was her oyster and her potential unlimited. She was too special to be gone so soon.”
In yesterday’s marathon, Trisha Miller of Missoula Montana was the first woman across the line, breaking the tape in 2:49:12 to win the Meyerhoff trophy. The meaning behind her victory was not lost on the 32-year-old Miller .
“She (Meyerhoff) was an amazing triathlete and marathoner,” Miller said after the race. “To be here in her honor is humbling.”