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32. To An Athlete Dying Young - AE Housman
THE time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come, 5
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay, 10
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers 15
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man. 20
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head 25
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.
I followed Ryan's running career since his prep days in Central Lake, then on to Notre Dame. It was so inspiring to hear of his accomplishments and his work ethic. While I never had the pleasure to meet him, those that had met him spoke very highly of him and I felt that I knew him through them. This tragic event proves to us all that you nerver know when your time is up and that the best way to live life is to it's fullest in every thing that you do.You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Deanna from Michigan
We never met Ryan Shay but he touched our lives this past weekend. At the last minute on Friday evening we decided to leave Connecticut at 4am on Saturday to make the drive to Manhattan in time to watch the Trials. Despite the early start our 8 and 11 year old children were as excited as Mom and Dad at the prospect of getting to see some of the greatest runners in the country compete for a spot on the Beijing Olympic team. After a lot of stop and go traffic and parking spot hunting we made our way to E102nd and 5th Ave some 15 minutes into the race. We learned that the course rounded the reservoir right near where we parked and the runners had yet to make the first loop. As we stood around the 5 mile mark, a young lady chatted with us about her husband being in the race. When she said Ryan Shay, we knew that this young lady had to be Alicia. We chatted just long enough to learn of her 10K and marathon aspirations and to let her know that we chose Ryan as one of our top 10 in the LetsRun.com trials prediction contest. The lead pack of runners rounded the corner and within seconds all had passed us. We’ll never forget seeing them go by on that first loop and Alicia shouting encouragement to Ryan and the others. From the notes here, it’s evident that Ryan was a champion in more ways most knew from his running success. To Ryan’s family and friends; may he always inspire you and may his spirit live forever in your lives.
Nobody said it better than the little girl holding up a chalkboard in Brooklyn during the race yesterday as I ran by:
"In Memory Of Ryan Shay
You Will Be Missed"
My heart goes out to you and your family.
I'm glad to see a thread like this. Today (Sunday) was our long run (Washington HS) and it was unusually quiet. I usually run in the back and just listen to the guys discuss the previous day's race or their adventures the previous Saturday night or what girls they tried to talk to, but this morning I thought a lot about what happened yesterday. I never met Ryan Shay - only what I read about him - but he striked me as a runner who strove to be the epitome of hard work, toughness, and at the same time, a genuinely down-to-earth, nice guy. A couple of us ended up running 14 this morning around the streets of Pensacola, talking about the marathon distance, how it is to be respected, and the myriad of things that could go wrong. I also thought about another similar tragedy from earlier in the week in my distant running family. News of both will re-shapen my outlook and motivation to keep running.
My heart just cries out for Ryan Shay, his family, and the sport in general when a tragedy like this strikes. It should make all of us realize our "gift" and be thankful for every step we run and are capable of running beyond our limits. Running is a perfect time for reflection and we should take a moment in our runs this week to remember greats like Ryan Shay that have fallen too soon before their time. I know that will think about the families of both tragedies this week every morning when I lace up and do my morning run.
I think my feelings are not unlike everyone else's. Without even knowing Ryan Shay, for one reason or another, he touched our lives. I like many people never met him, but was inspired by him.
I ran at the Notre Dame XC race in 2001. It was a magical experience for many reasons, capped off by getting to see Ryan Shay the best collegiate runner in the nation.
He will be greatly missed. My sincere condlences.
I have spent the past couple of days reading these posts and trying to decide what to say. Although I did not know Ryan, the vast amount of posts speak volumes of his character. He touched many lives that he did not even know and as the days go on he touches my life even more. He passed doing what he loved to do and chasing his dream of representing all of us in the Olympics. Some one once told me that in every negative situation their is always a positive, no matter how small and insignificant. In this case it is the reminder of how precious life is and to never give up hope for your dreams. For the Shay family they can see how important their son was and still is to so many people. He inspired people to never stop chasing their dreams. I hope that all of us will share Ryan's dream of representing this country by representing him on our runs today and in the weeks and months to come and may we all take a few moments to pray for the family and friends of Ryan.
"I love this sport. Every chance I have to speak at a high school about the sport, I do it. I want to get kids to think that this sport is worthy of their participation."
I found this quote by Ryan, and it give a good indication of the kind of guy he was, to the the world and to the sport.
I was just wondering if any scholarship funds, or tributes in memory of Ryan had been set up. I am certain there are many of us who would like to contribute something on behalf of Ryan and his life. I had the opportunity to meet him several times, and couldnt have found a better person to chat with. Ryan was the perfect representative of our sport, and truly captured the hearts of many which is evident on this board. Ryan we will miss you! To the Shay family god bless you, you are in my prayers.
As a father and runner, I send my thoughts and respects to Ryan's wife and family. Having met Ryan only briefly at a few road events, he was always engaging and generous to the people around him. In these next weeks please know that there are many who are thinking of your families who wish they could say or do something to bring comfort to you.
|Leslie (Moeller) Galloway|
I heard about your brother's tragic passing, and I wanted to tell you how sorry I am that you and your family have to go through this.
I hope that you are doing well otherwise. Take care.
I had the fortunate opportunity to train with Ryan on occasion in Flagstaff as well as Michigan, where I live. I was in Central park at the downhill corner when Ryan passed. My thoughts and prayers are with Ryan and his family. Ryan was a true champion! His love of running and his competitive desire made him into an amazing runner and his humbleness is obvious with everyone who knew or met him.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Shay, Alicia, and the entire running community who got the chance to know Ryan,
My deepest condolonces go out to each and every one of you. I didn't know Ryan, but I have followed his career of running as I did many other elite athletes. I was flying into NYC for the Olympic Trials and the Marathon weekend, when I started talking to the gentelman in the aisle across from me. This is an assumption, but I'm guessing that he visits this site regulary. He was flying in from Manmouth to go root for Meb and Ryan, and was a training partner of Mr. Shays before he moved to Flagstaff. He and the other gentleman were so excited for this weekend, as was I.
As fate would have it I didn't make it to Central Park that morning, and I was watching the amazing run that Ryan Hall was making. It was ablsolute brilliance and then I herd the news of a runner down and ambulences on scene...At first they had made it sound as though it was a casual runner going through central park, but later they clarified that it was Ryan and he had suffered some cardiac type of problem, and his condition was unknown. It wasn't until later in the day when I heard the terrible news of his passing. The entire day of joy was turned into a blank empty feeling.
Be strong and know that I think that one of the commentators said it best during the Trials race...Ryan Hall looks as though he's flying with wings. And I think that he truely was. He had Ryan above him carrying him to victory, and that he was looking over all of the runners that cold and windy morning.
RIP Ryan Shay, you will be greatly missed in the running community.
Dustin "KidStallyn" Holmes