Runners hold 5k to support hit-and-run victim

by: Frank Field Updated:

Runners held a 5k in West Seattle Saturday for the West Seattle hit-and-run victim, who they call Red.
SEATTLE —

One week after a hit-and-run driver nearly killed a woman out for a run in West Seattle, about 100 runners gathered for a 5k event they hoped would give hope to her family, and to call on drivers to observe traffic signs. 

The morning run on the south end of Alki was dubbed the “Run to Reflect.” The organizers asked participants to bring a reflective item.  Those items, mostly reflective safety vests, were placed along the area on Fairmount where Athena Fredrick and Julie Ambrose found the woman they call “Red” lying in the road last weekend.

“This is our community and this is our beach and we love to run, and we feel helpless right now,” said Fredrick.  “She’s in the hospital right now and we don’t know how things are gonna go.”

Fredrick and Ambrose hope the reflective markers will remind drivers to obey the myriad signs and speed bumps warning drivers to slow down. There’s no sidewalk here.  It’s a winding street through a shaded ravine thick with trees and shrubs. And it’s easy to drive too fast on its downhill slope. They felt someone had to respond somehow.

“It’s the people who are going to drive that, people like us just saying hey, this is our community, we need it to be safe to run here and to do anything that we love to do,” Ambrose said.

Runners signed a banner encouraging the recovery of the 54-year-old victim. The woman was hit around 7 a.m. last Saturday morning in the 2300 block of Fairmount Avenue Southwest.  She was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and remains hospitalized today. The banner displays their hope that she’ll be out running again.

“I’m hoping that is sends some hope and love to the family and to the woman in the hospital, so she knows there are people who care about her,” Fredrick said.

Police have no suspects in the hit-and-run. The runners who organized today’s even are hoping someone who was in the area last weekend will provide a lead.