Rocky Mountain College plans to take part in Saturday’s virtual run in honor of Sherry Arnold, a Sidney teacher who is believed to have been abducted Jan. 7 while she was on a morning run.
The overall event was conceived by Beth Risdon, Arnold’s cousin, who lives in Colorado. Risdon’s idea was to hold a run to remember Arnold, an avid runner whom officials believe was killed, although her body has not been found.
Two men are awaiting extradition to Montana to face kidnapping charges.
Risdon said the virtual run has turned into an international event. She has heard from people planning runs in such far-flung places as Egypt, Thailand, Australia and Cuba.
Rocky’s participation came about when one of its students, Hope Barker, a Sidney native who had Arnold as a teacher, proposed the idea to associate math professor Robyn Cummings.
“Hope had been Sherry Arnold’s student and just thought the world of her,” Cummings said Tuesday. “To hear a student say that they love math and love a math teacher, that doesn’t happen that often.”
The run/walk at Rocky will start at 9 a.m. on the south side of Fortin Education Center. Participants can either follow the shorter course around the campus or run or walk to Montana State University Billings and back, a distance of about 3 miles.
Another Billings event is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at Montana Cycling and Ski, 824 Shiloh Crossing Boulevard.
People who plan to take part can go online to a website Risdon created and download a racing bib with Arnold’s photo on it.
For Cummings, what happened to Arnold hits close to home.
“I’m a runner, I’m a math teacher and we’re almost the same age,” Cummings said. “I’ll bet I’ve probably run races with Sherry Arnold.”
The run/walk is free, Cummings said, but people who plan to participate are invited to donate money to a fund for Sherry Arnold’s children. The money will be collected before the start of the event.