A Running Legacy

This coming Saturday, my family and I will be traveling to Duluth, MN to participate in the Nancy English Memorial 5K. I’ve mentioned in the past that sometimes races raise money for charities that I can feel good about supporting. This is one of those races. In fact, that really is the reason we go to this particular 5k. After Nancy passed away unexpectedly in 2008, her family organized the Nancy I. English Memorial Foundation and the Nancy English Memorial 5k. The Foundation awards scholarships with preference given to female non-traditional students with a strong record of community service (though others may also apply). This seems a very fitting memorial for a woman who went back to school to become a doctor while raising a family, who positively impacted the communities in which she lived, and for whom running was one of many passions. I didn’t know Nancy, but I can only imagine that she would be proud of the legacy that she has left, and honored by the Memorial Foundation that her family has created in her name.

I can easily see part of Nancy’s legacy in her daughters. Faced with such a tremendous loss, they quickly looked for a way to give back to their community and honor their mom.  This is definitely one of those races I feel good about supporting. Honestly, I wish this race didn’t exist, and that these young women still had their mom with them.  Since that can’t be so, I do want to support them in their efforts. What a wonderful way to celebrate their mom’s life and create something so positive out of tragedy. 

If you live in the Minnesota/Wisconsin area, you may want to join the 5k fun, knowing that your race fee will help provide scholarship money to a deserving student in the area. If you’d like to learn more about the scholarship program and how you can help, check out the Foundation’s website.


4 thoughts on “A Running Legacy

  1. Melissa,

    My name is Emily Crook and I am Nancy’s daughter. I was googling Nancy English 5K and came across your blog. I just wanted to say thank you for your kind words. I hope to see you at the next race on July 28th, 2012. Hope you are having a great start to your new year!

  2. Melissa,
    It is me again, Emily Crook, Nancy’s English’s daughter. I am a teacher in the Twin Cities, and I am returning to school to get a Education Specialist Degree, where I have one of my larger projects due in the next few days, on leadership. Well, our assignment is to look at our strengths. In this assignment, have been reflecting on my mom. Maybe it’s because my husband and I want kids, or mom’s birthday is coming up in a few short days, or that mother’s day is coming up…but I was struggling with questions like, who am I as a leader? can I be a mom? what are my strengths? both personally and professionally…Re-reading this, I was looking up races in MN, gave me direction and strength – that someone could see the legacy my mom left in me. I just wanted to say Thank You. Thank you for writing. I think it just shows the impact of ones words, and for that I am truly grateful.


  3. Emily, I am deeply touched by your words. If what I’ve written encourages you, I am so glad. I was definitely inspired by the way you and your sister sought to make a positive difference and honor your mom. I think we all struggle with these kinds of questions about ourselves, many of us do anyway. Sometimes it is hard to see the best in ourselves.

    I wish you all the best with your education goals and family.


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