‘This is Memphis at its best’: Hundreds laced up to finish run in honor of Eliza Fletcher

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 10:38 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - “I think this is Memphis at its best,” one person exclaimed, praising the turnout for the run in Eliza Fletcher’s honor.

Hundreds of people gathered at the intersection of Central Avenue and Belvedere at precisely 4:20 a.m.

This time carried a heavy significance—it marked the same moment when Eliza Fletcher vanished during her 8.2-mile run last year.

Fletcher Family Representative, Jennifer Sink said, “It’s overwhelming, that a year later so many people remember what’s happening and they want to show up this early on a Friday morning.”

The community united to “Finish Liza’s Run” and pay tribute to her life and enduring legacy.

Their focus was crystal clear.

“To keep going, do whatever it is that you can to remember Eliza.” Teretta Hall, Black Girl’s Run said while attending the event the morning.

Organizer, Charlie Hayden, wanted to emphasize the significance of women being able to run safely at any time of day.

County officials joined the race and were touched by the community’s outpouring of support and solidarity.

Shelby County District Attorney, Steve Mulroy says, ”I – I wasn’t sure how many to expect because it’s been a year. And uh – it’s just – it’s just amazing this outpouring of support. I’m touched by it.”

Runners laced up for the route along Central Avenue towards Zach Curlin Street near the University of Memphis, the spot where Fletcher was abducted.

They then turned around and headed back, hoping this day would serve as a time to reflect on the past year.

The organizers and participants alike were adamant that this run would send hope to all those who needed it.

Thus the run became a symbol of unity and purpose—successfully completing the run she wasn’t able to finish.

“I just hope there’s a message of brightness and levity ‘cause we need it,” Hayden says.

The suspect in Eliza Fletcher’s murder, Cleotha Henderson is due in court on Wednesday, September 13.

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