Carol Mead, the wife of Gov. Matt Mead of Wyoming, will run the ING New York City Marathon on a charity team dedicated to reducing underage drinking and impaired driving.
On Thursday, the first lady announced that she will run to benefit Mariah’s Challenge, a Montana-based charity that offers scholarships to young people who uphold pledges not to drink or ride in a vehicle with a driver who’s been drinking. During a press conference, Mead received a ceremonial race bib that displays the word “Remember,” recognizing the eight cross country runners from the University of Wyoming killed by a drunk driver in 2001.
“The loss of these young men profoundly impacted many of us in Wyoming,” Mead said in a statement. “Our state is small in population but large in empathy, and this tragedy shook our community. It will be an honor to run in their memory and I hope doing so will be a reminder to our young people to avoid risky behaviors like underage alcohol use and impaired driving, and to live healthy lifestyles.”
The parents of two of the cross country runners killed on Sept. 16, 2001, attended the announcement.
For Mead, the race will be something of a homecoming: She was born in the Bronx before moving West at a young age. This will be her third marathon; just last month, on Sept. 22, she ran the Rock ’n’ Roll Denver Marathon as a training run in a gun time of 4:46:24. Mead said on Thursday that she isn’t too concerned about her finishing time on November 4.
“It about the experience of running in New York and running for charity and bringing awareness to a cause,” she said. “That’s the fun part of this for me.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg