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|Good bye Ryan Shay|
Thank you for sharing with us your comments. My deepest condolences on the loss of your son. I am going to go put both of my little boys in bed with me tonight and hold them very close. I can't imagine the pain your are feeling. Tomorrow's long run will be dedicated to the 'workhorse' Ryan Shay.
One day last winter it was snowing heavily in Denver, Colorado. I knew I had only one place to go run that morning. Waterton Canyon always provides a clear road even in the most heavy of snows. The parking lot was empty when I arrived, snow falling heavily. Cold and windy. But distance running as we know is not for weak of heart. The olympic trials waited for no one. I was going to get my run in no matter the weather. Suddenly a truck pulled up along side. I knew who it was we had run once before together and shared a dinner at macaroni grill with his sponsors at Saucony. It was Ryan Shay. we greeted each other happy for the company on such a tough day to train in. We proceeded to get our workouts in running up and back the empty snowy canyon. most of it together. Two men, one just hoping to make it to New York, the other hoping to make it to Bejing, but regardless we both were chasing our dreams that day. No matter the weather. It was and still is one of the most memorable runs of my life. I was going to give up on this running thing after my failure to make the trials. But Ryan Shay would tell me not to. He would tell me to keep trying, to keep training, to give it everything in pursuit of a dream. So tomorrow, I will get up and get training because he would have done the same. Alicia and the Shay family, may God surround you with angels to protect you and guide you in this difficult time. Be proud, Your Son, your husband has died a legend. God thank you for his life and his love and inspiration to us all.
|Condolcsences from New Zealand|
Everyone here in NZ is thinking of the Shay family at this time... If anyone in the family makes it to NZ, be sure to get hold of the running community at www.nzrun.com and we'll take care of the Shay clan.
My heart goes out to you, your family, Alicia. I am so sorry for you loss. Truly, your son has touched so many lives. A sea of tears has doubtlessly been shed today. Many miles will doubtlessly be run tomorrow with Ryan in our heads and hearts. He will continue to inspire. You will be in our prayers.
Mr. Shay I never had the pleasure of formally meeting your son but I followed his results and life in the last 7 or 8 years.
He was the epitome of a super tough runner/warrior, and he will be missed.
My deepest condolences to your family...
As a HS competitor of Ryan and the rest of the Shay family I quite honestly have mixed emotions. Strange how its so hard to take someone that was so long a competitor and personify him simply as a fellow runner.
Today I have nothing more than the greatest respect for Ryan's work ethic and love for the sport. You were an inspiration to many. I hang my head in sorrow for the loss.
Just an idea of the type of person Ryan Shay was:
A few years ago, I read in the newspaper that Ryan was coming to my hometown to run a road race. Being a student at ND and an avid runner (though probably about 18:00 in the 5k at that point), I talked to a friend who was a former college teammate of his and got his e-mail address. Here I am, not much of anything as a runner and he had no idea who I was--I sent him an e-mail, and within a day or two got a phone call from him and an offer to go run the course the day before the race! A handful of friends came with me and we did about a 5 mile jog. Afterward, he signed a picture one friend had, then Ryan and I did some strides and talked about people we knew from ND, running, etc. It amazed me that someone who was on top of the game like that was so willing to meet up with a relative nobody like myself and could be so down to earth. It was incredible what a nice guy he was, but I still remember thinking: God help me if I ever found myself in a footrace with him! The next day he wound up being the first American to finish the race. A sad irony is the story one friend told Ryan that day: a few years back, this friend had been in the same indoor 5000m as Ryan and David Kimani and remembered them duking it out in a fantastic race, one that he was still amazed at several years after it happened.
One other time I remember: I was out in the middle of a downright miserable snowstorm running the trails at St. Mary's at a snail's pace. I saw one other guy during the run...a well decorated runner, we'll say...trudging along, as well. Then, just as I was ready to head back to ND, here comes Ryan Shay ABSOLUTELY BLASTING through there. I couldn't even comprehend how he moved that fast normally, let alone in the conditions. Most people would have taken a day off or just run easy, but apparently I was seeing the workhorse that was Ryan Shay.
"Training was a rite of purification; from it came strength, speed. Racing was a rite of death; from it came knowledge. Such rites demand, if they are to be meaningful at all, a certain amount of time spent precisely on the Red Line, where one look out over the manicured putting green at the edge of the precipice and see exactly nothing."
Once a Runner
Now I out walking
The world desert
And my shoe and my stocking
Do me no hurt
I leave behind
Good friends in town
Let them get well-wined
And go lie down
Don't think I leave
For the outer dark
Like Adam and Eve
Put out of the Park
Forget the myth
There is no one
I am put out with
Or put out by
Unless I'm wrong
I but obey
The urge of a song
And I may return
With what I learn
From having died
Like the rest of the running community, I am deeply saddened by your loss. My condolescences to all who knew and loved Ryan. FWIW, Im running a marathon today, which I dedicate to the memory of Ryan Shay........God Bless the Shay Family................
We had the pleasure of hosting the Shays at the New Haven 20K over the past several years. Ryan was a true professional and gentleman. As stunning as it is to all of us, we can only imagine what your family is going through, I'm so sorry.
Casey S., I was with Mike Barnow at the finish corral yesterday when we got the news-- I've never seen him show much emotion -- ever; he did then and has since, he's thinking of you... you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers
There are no words to express how sorry I am for the loss your family has suffered.
Ryan was one of my hosts when I took my recruiting trip to Notre Dame. Ryan was almost finished with his eligibility, but he still took a lot of time to go for a run and talk with me despite the fact that he would not have been on the team had I attended Notre Dame. The time I spent around him that weekend made a big impact on me. He was one of those people that you meet and never forget. For the remainder of my career, Ryan was one of the guys that I always thought of when I needed inspiration to train and race hard. I coached high school for the past couple of years and on numerous occasions I told my athletes about Ryan and how he was one of the gutsiest runners I was ever fortunate enough to see run. I want you to know that every runner I work with for the rest of my life will learn that Ryan Shay was the epitome of what it means to be a distance runner.
Joe, I can't begin to tell you how saddened we are for the loss of Ryan. Even though we didn't have a chance to get to know him as well as we would have liked, it has been clear to us that Ryan was a very special, good person who valued not only his passion and dreams, but especially his family most of all. We will miss him terribly and rest assured, will be there for you, Sue and your family at this difficult time. Count on Maria and I for anything.
I first met Ryan in Feb 2005 and saw him on occassion afterwards. It was quite evident from the monent I met him that he was an athlete that held himself to standards above and beyond his competition. He thrived on improvement and I respected him immensely for it.
Aside from his athleticism, work ethic, and drive he was an absolute pleasure to be around.
The world lost a great one yesterday.
The deepest condolences of those of us at the Antrim Review, which took such great pride, and still do, in the entire Shay family's accomplishments over the years, and those of everyone in Ryan's home town of Central Lake, Michigan. If anyone put Central Lake on the map, it is the Shay family.
I will always think fondly of the young man who was out in a snowstorm almost every day, running down the road past my house giving it everything he had.