Dawn was nominated by Amy Dawson. Over 400 nominations were received nationwide and Dawn was selected as one of the five National Honorees for The Power of Running.
Here is Dawn's story:
On December 24, 2010, my friend Dawn and her running buddy were hit by an impaired drive while running their early Christmas Eve run. Sadly, her running buddy was killed upon impact, leaving behind 3 young children and a devastated husband and community. Dawn survived, but spent many days in the hospital. She had surgeries to permanently insert rods into her leg. By all accounts, Dawn would not run again. And, anyone who told her that, obviously did not know her that well. In October 2011, I finished the Marine Corp Marathon and was not sure how enthusiastic I felt about running. I happened to meet up with Dawn at a high school football game. She invited me to run with her sometime. A week later, I took her up on that. It’s been 5 years and together we have run many short runs, long runs, half marathons and 2 marathons. Dawn inspires me every day. Her sense of humor and determination keep us going even when it is blistering hot or freezing cold. She jokes on hills and can keep smiling when we have just finished 26.2. I am not sure how many times she has said "Keep your @$$ moving." She pushes me and I push her, but (and I don’t think I have ever told her this) I am in awe of her ability to keep going despite what she has been through. Running is her outlet. After the trial of the habitual drug user that hit her and killed her friend, she told me that no matter what, don’t ever let someone make me a victim. She said that the driver had taken away her friend, but she refused to let it take away her running ability. If she couldn’t run, it would be like losing all over again. Dawn sits on the Board for the Robbin’s Run Foundation. The Foundation is in memory of her friend that was killed on that cold December morning. For the past 5 years, there has been a Robbin's Run event. Dawn walks the route with the other runners. She feels it is her duty to be the last one through the chute so no one is last. Dawn doesn’t talk much about what happened, but I know she never forgets. In the meantime, 3 to 4 times a week, we meet, run, and she pushes me to never forget the power that running gives us both. She is my inspiration.