COLUMBUS (WCMH) — When thousands of runners gather at the starting line for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, one longtime runner will be missing.
Linda Evans, 68, ran in every Columbus Marathon since its origin in 1980.
Over the summer, police said she was hit and killed by a suspected impaired driver while running.
For her family, the last several months have been difficult, but a new tradition may be starting on Sunday.
Evans’ daughter, Carey Thomas, will run the marathon in honor of her mother.
“I had planned to run with her,” said Thomas. “This year would be the year that we’d run it together, and because of the accident she can’t run it, so I’m going to run it for her.”
Evans completed 68 marathons during her life. This year’s Columbus Marathon will be Thomas’ first.
“This is her marathon and I’m running it with her bib number,” Thomas said. “I’m just her stand-in because she can’t be here.”
Thomas’ father and Evans’ husband will be rooting his daughter to the finish line.
“I know Carey will do wonderfully,” said Gary Evans. “She will make her mom proud.”
The Columbus Marathon will begin at 7:30 a.m., on Sunday.