Laurie Harris was my very first girlfriend in the 7th grade and a life-long friend.
From the Project Purple Website: Laurie Harris was the epitome of the NYC running community. A long-time member of the New York Flyers running club in Manhattan, she was also a member of the NYRR and ran over 550 of their races in her beautiful life. Laurie ran about 200 other races, too, including 17 marathons. Her training ground was Central Park, where she ran the various loops and paths so many times, folks swear that they can discern her footprints in the asphalt. And she always ran with a big smile on her face, her beautiful curly blonde locks bobbing back behind her in the breeze she created. One did not have to know Laurie to know Laurie, that’s how often and visible she was to the local running community.
In August 2011, Laurie was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Ever the fighter, she undertook treatment with great vigor, a desire to live…and to run. And run she did, running the 2011 NYC Marathon while undergoing treatment. She would have run again in 2012, but something called Sandy got in the way. However, she still ran many a race and countless more loops. Very weak, she still ran the 2013 NYRR Team Championships 5 miler, where she was run in to the finish line by friends to a hero’s welcome by the NYRR announcer.
On August 10, 2013, her club, the Flyers, sponsored its first race to honor her…the Laurie Harris Hope and Dreams 5k. In the throes of her illness, Laurie willed herself out to Roosevelt Island where she was feted by over 550 runners from the NYC running community. The majority of the registration proceeds went to her doctor at MSKCC for further research into a cure for this dreadful disease.
Laurie passed away on November 15, 2013, surrounded by her loving family. Yet, she lives on in our hearts and souls, and on the paths of Central Park. This annual event will continue until her hopes and dreams of a cure come to fruition.
To Register For The Event, CLICK HERE