Hunger Run/Walk: Running in memory of a friend

Brandon and Jeremy

By Brandon Sutton

One year ago on a sunny winter day, I did something I never thought I would do; I ran a 5k during the Hunger Walk/Run, benefiting the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Despite telling myself since high school that I wasn’t a runner, I decided to give the run a try.

My friend and neighbor, Jeremy Smith, had joined my Inspired Walkers & Runners team and raised money as he had for several years prior. Jeremy was an experienced runner, and as before, he quickly ran ahead once the starting gun went off that beautiful Sunday afternoon. This time it would be the last time I saw him alive. Jeremy was killed in a motorcycle accident just a week later.

Jeremy was the kind of person who went out of his way to brighten the lives of those around him, and despite being overloaded with work last year, he came through and raised money for the ACFB as he had done in years past. I’ve thought at length about his legacy of spreading joy in the world, and for this year’s Hunger Walk/Run, I’ve dedicated my fundraising effort and my run to Jeremy’s memory.

I miss Jeremy’s infectious smile and enduring compassion, and I can honestly say the run won’t be the same without him. Still, his memory is alive and well and as I take each step, I will remember the joy he brought to my life and those who were lucky enough to know him.

The 29th annual Hunger Walk/Run is on Sunday, March 10, at Turner Field. Park opens at noon, 5k Walk/Run at 2 p.m. Visit HWR2013.org for registration info.

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