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Crowd braves cold for Jackie’s Run

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018
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Miles of Memories 1

MILES OF MEMORIES – Jackie Murphree’s wheelchair in which she was pushed for 458 miles in races around North Texas was at the starting line for Saturday’s Jackie’s Run 5K. The family of the late Decatur resident was on hand for the unveiling of a plaque in memory of Murphree that will hang at Fit-N-Wise. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A brisk, cold north wind greeted runners at McCarroll Middle School Saturday morning for the Fit-N-Wise Run Fest and Jackie’s Run 5K, but it didn’t damper spirits.

Close to 300 runners turned out for the Fit Y.O.U.T.H. 1-mile and the annual 5K.

“The crowd turned out good considering it was 30-something degrees,” said Holly Berry, race organizer and Fit-N-Wise Director of Child Wellness and School Based Telemedicine.

Berry said they had an increase in the number of preregistered runners with 200. Several others registered the morning of the race, which started and ended on the McCarroll Middle School track. For several years, the race was held on the Decatur Square.

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Runners take off for the start of the Fit Y.O.U.T.H. 1-mile fun run Saturday that began the Fit-N-Wise Run Fest. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Between the 1 mile and the 5K, members of Fit-N-Wise unveiled a memorial plaque that will hang in the facility for the race’s namesake, Jackie Murphree.

Murphree died in January, more than a decade after a car accident left her unable to walk or talk. Her father Patrick and therapists from Fit-N-Wise pushed her in several races, including the Decatur 5K, Dallas Marathon and Cowtown Marathon. She tallied 458 miles over the years.

A portion of the proceeds from Saturday’s race benefits the Jackie Murphree Scholarship, which goes to a Decatur High School student entering the medical field.

“This is amazing,” said Patrick Murphree. “For us it’s super. To see all the kids running is amazing. Jackie was just a kid and loved kids. She would be ecstatic.”

Jackie’s wheelchair with all her medals was at the race. It was the first time in several years she was not in it during the 5K.Patrick Murphree said it was a bittersweet day.

“This year is that year of firsts,” he said. “We had the first Easter, now the first 5K, and we had the first Cowtown Marathon. You don’t really ever move on, and things like this is when it really hits hard. But we have a huge family here, and the crowd and volunteers are phenomenal.”

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