DALLAS — The White Rock Marathon will be extra special this year for friends and family honoring a runner who died during the race.
Erin Krielow Lahr was just 29 years old when she died on December 14, 2008 doing what she loved - running. Lahr collapsed and died during the White Rock Marathon.
But, her good friend who went to high school and college with her is determined to make the marathon an uplifting one despite the tragedy.
Olivia ZoKai just happened to be heading to a nearby gym trying to avoid the massive sea of runners when fate wouldn't have it any other way.
"Despite trying to go through downtown Dallas and coming back around and trying to do different things, I ended up back on that road and I know that God wanted me there and I know that I served a purpose at that point," she said.
ZoKai and emergency workers tried to save Lahr's life - now all she can do is honor it.
"The one thing Erin loved to do was run and we just want to remember her for that and do what she loved to do and finish the race that she couldn't," she said.
ZoKai and 20 other family and friends will run in Lahr's honor.
A memorial plaque was placed at the exact location of where she collapsed, just three miles shy of the finish line.
"I just hope that people can look at that memorial and look at the plaque and see Erin and her memory and her legacy as just a strength and inspiration," ZoKai said.
ZoKai said she doesn't want anyone to cry, but to keep Lahr's motto in mind: any obstacle can be met.
"The weather might not be ideal - it may be cold, it may be rainy - but you know just to push through and really keep going and do our best," she said. "I know she will be watching us."