Kayla Miller was awarded “Inspirational Person of the Year” by Idaho Shu’s Running Company
“RESPECT” is the only word I can come up with to describe the way I felt waiting at the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado in August of 2015. My daughter, Kayla Miller, and her teammates were making their way up the 13.32 mile, 7800ft climb in the Pikes Peak Ascent to finish at the 14,115 ft summit. The “LIVE FORWARD! RUN TO REMEMBER” team had shirts carrying the names of over 100 people whose lives have been lost in traffic related incidents. Kayla’s shirt bore the name of her little brother, BOBBY, in bold letters across the back. This was her 9th half marathon in 2.5 years.
She ran her first one at Robie Creek just six months following the tragic motor vehicle crash that claimed Bobby’s life in 2012. Determined to overcome her grief in a positive way, Kayla set out to take risks and push herself to overcome obstacles and take on challenges that she’d never considered before.
As we waited at the top, anxious to see Kayla climbing the final quarter mile, the air was thin and cool. Runners were pale with labored breathing, some barely able to walk the last hundred feet. As we spotted our girl, tears filled our eyes. She had pink in her cheeks and a smile on her face as she grabbed her brother’s picture and carried it up and over the finish line. RESPECT and admiration filled my heart. I am so inspired and incredibly proud of Kayla. She has taken one of life’s most difficult challenges and allowed it to push her to live life to the fullest, for herself….and Bobby.
In her words, “Life is precious and as we’ve learned it can be taken away in an instant. My life will continue to be full of adventures in Bobby’s honor because at the end of the day, he’s right there with me.”
Kayla works as an Interior Designer at Ethan Allen Furniture in Boise and is on the executive board of Buckle Up for Bobby, a local 501c3 non-profit working to educate others about the dangers of not wearing seat belts. She has registered to return to Colorado to run up Pikes Peak again this summer!
For more information about the LiveForward!RunToRemember Weekend see www.KeepKidsAliveDrive25.org