Thousands of people are planning to run the early-morning 8.2 mile route that the late Liza Fletcher left unfinished when the Memphis kindergarten teacher was abducted last Friday and later found murdered. The run to honor Fletcher will start at 4:20 a.m, on Friday, roughly the same time Fletcher started her route the day she was abducted.
One of the organizers of the run, Danielle Heineman, reacted to the claim some have made that Fletcher, a married mother of two young boys, should not have been running alone in the wee hours of the morning.
“Why isn’t she running on a treadmill? Why isn’t she running after work? Women can’t do that,” she said. “We have jobs, we have families to take care of, and we have other commitments. Yet we have a right to be runners also.”
“I think it’s important for us to stand up, for the women in this community to stand up for ourselves. … We all just feel like we can’t run alone, and we should not feel that way,” she continued.
Fletcher’s abduction was captured on surveillance footage. Cleotha Abston, 38, an ex-con who served time for kidnapping, was arrested Saturday as a prime suspect.
The Facebook site for the run to honor Fletcher stated, “We created this run as way to honor Liza and cope with our own feelings. This run is 8.2 miles taking a path she would regularly run.”
“Our goal is to stand up for the women in the Mid-South and emphasize that women should be able to safely run any time of day. Our run is not sanctioned by the family and is not a fundraiser. We are not accepting any donations nor should you donate to anyone on the morning of the run,” the site added.
The site offered guidelines for the runners, including, “Wear Bright Colors and a bright light if you have it,” “Do not come alone,” and “Respect the neighborhoods we run through as people will be sleeping.”
Video of Fletcher, the late beloved Memphis kindergarten teacher who was also the heiress to a billion-dollar hardware fortune, singing to her class during the COVID pandemic, surfaced this week, showing how much was lost when her body was found on Tuesday.
“Hey, girls, it’s Ms. Fletcher,” the young teacher told the camera as she got down on the floor. “So before we go, I wanted to remind you of something we do at St. Mary’s that’s so special and that I miss a lot. So I want to see if you can join in with me. We’re going to sing ‘This Little Light of Mine,’ okay? Ready?”
God bless her soul. Video showing Eliza Fletcher singing to students at St. Mary’s Episcopal School. Clearly she was a very kind and loving soul #lizafletcher #ElizaFletcher #Memphis pic.twitter.com/eTZ9QQZ0s8
— That Guy Shane (@ProfanityNewz) September 6, 2022