MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hundreds of runners plan to meet early Friday morning to finish Eiza Fletcher’s run.
The 34-year-old St. Mary’s teacher and mother of two was abducted on the University of Memphis campus during the halfway point of her 10-mile run from her Midtown home last Friday.
Her body was found three days later behind an abandoned house in South Memphis.
Fellow runners and those impacted by her story plan to start at 4:20 a.m., the same time she was abducted, and run the entire route.
Danielle Heineman and a fellow runner organized the event for female runners but have invited men to come out and support them. By Wednesday morning on the event’s Facebook page, 792 said they were going, and 1,200 more were interested.
“Basically, I just started this to say you know we’re going to run at 4:20 in the morning because we have the right to run at 4:20 in the morning,” said Heineman.
Heineman said they wanted to finish the run to address derogatory comments posted on social about the hour Fletcher was running and the clothes she was wearing.
“We are going to wear shorts and a sports bra and not be completely covered up because we have a right to run comfortably,” she said. “There shouldn’t be an expectation that you’re gonna be abducted if you run at four in the morning in Memphis.”
Heineman said she never met Fletcher, but they ran in some of the same races. She said she felt like she had to do this as part of the coping process.
“I have a lot of friends who are training for long-distance runs and do run that early in the morning every day of the week, and so they run, get in the shower, and they go to work and take care of their families,” Heineman said.
Heineman said when she made the Facebook post about the run, she thought it would just be a few people, but her post has been shared more than a thousand times.
The run will start at Central and Belvedere.
The Memphis Police Department says it will have an “increased presence” and officers will be onsite for road closures and crowd control.
Also Friday, Liza’s Lights will gather at 4 a.m. at Second Presbyterian Church at Central and Goodlett and walk to the spot where she was abducted for a moment of silence at 4:20 a.m.
A Facebook group also plans to Livestream the event.