Wednesday, December 12, 2012


This past weekend was the National Club XC Championships, a race our team has looked forward to all season. Instead of the celebration we had planned, we suffered the most significant loss. On Saturday, December 8th, while walking across the street, our teammate Lauren Woodall Roady was hit by a car and killed. She was just 27 years old and recently married.

When we gathered after hearing the news, our team was in shock. How could this happen to someone so young, so full of promise, so kind, so careful? It didn’t seem real. It cannot be rationalized.

We stayed up that night sharing all the reasons we love Lauren. There were a lot of reasons, but no one was keen to sleep. Much was said about how driven she was. Since joining our team last spring, she has annihilated all of her PRs (she was going to crush her marathon PR in January) due to her incredible work ethic. She was the most disciplined runner I've ever known. During workouts, she always set the pace a little too fast, mostly because she didn’t know her own talent and didn’t realize the paces she was running with ease were faster than the rest of us had planned on. On Saturday, in her last race, she gave her absolute all, collapsing at the line. She was an inspiration.

Off the track, she was always positive, warm, and filled with endless energy. Besides having a full schedule as a lawyer, high mileage runner, and gym rat, she found time to make delicious homemade treats: cookies, muffins, strawberry jam. (“Strawberry jam is easy to make! You just start by picking 30 pounds of fresh strawberries...”) She had motherly qualities: an eagerness to help, a kind heart, and a knack for being prepared for anything. When someone mentioned being hungry before Saturday’s race, she whipped out a loaf of bread, a packet of peanut butter, a jar of jam, and a knife from her race day bag. She was a wonderful teammate. 

The next day, our team somberly took the bus back to DC. I wouldn't wish a ten hour bus ride on anyone grieving, but I was glad to be with my teammates who knew Lauren and understood what a loss this was. 

Despite the many discussions and tributes to her life, I am still in shock and cannot believe this is real. When I think of those most affected, her parents, her new husband, I am inconsolable. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. For my own part, I feel blessed and thankful I was able to know her and run with her for those few months. She will live on in all our hearts, and remain an inspiration to us always.

Our team after Saturday's race. Lauren is furthest left.
Lauren, we love you and miss you. You will forever be our teammate and our inspiration.

Dream as big as Lauren did,


  1. Thanks for sharing Teal; this is very touching.

  2. Thank you for the tribute to your teammate and friend. What a heart-breaking story.