Thousands of runners rally across US to ‘finish Eliza’s run’

Thousands of people in cities across the US gathered to finish the run of a woman who was abducted while out running.

he runs were organised as a tribute to Eliza Fletcher, who was forced into a vehicle after a struggle during her pre-dawn run last Friday in Memphis, Tennessee.

A suspect was swiftly identified and has been charged with her kidnapping and murder.

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Runners head down the pavement past Fountain Square on Georgia Avenue during Finish Eliza’s Run in Chattanooga, Tennessee (Robin Rudd/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

The killing of the 34-year-old nursery school teacher and mother of two shocked people nationwide, and was particularly upsetting to women runners.

An obituary described Ms Fletcher as a “born athlete” who enjoyed spending time outside with her husband and children.

Many female athletes fear working out alone, at night or in secluded places, and while crime statistics show such killings are exceedingly rare, many report being harassed or worse, even in well-populated areas.

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Runners pray before heading out for Finish Eliza’s Run in Chattanooga, Tennessee (Robin Rudd/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

In response, groups of runners decided to “finish Eliza’s run” in the pre-dawn darkness on Friday morning, a week after her killing.

Many wore pink tops and purple shorts in her honour.

Groups ran in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and many other cities and towns around the country.

Hundreds logged their runs on a website dedicated to the Finish Eliza’s Run event.

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