We train together. We race together. We coach each other’s kids. We watch them progress from children having fun to promising young athletes. We understand the thrill. We see the rewards. We know the risks. But nothing prepares us for this. When we lose a 15-year old girl in a ski accident, the way we lost Hannah on Sunday, it cuts right through. So tonight we came together to support Marshall and Karen, to remember their daughter, as we skied a lap in silence.
I coached Hannah in her last year on EMBK. I trained with her at the CSU workouts. I could appreciate her drive and dedication, but I barely scratched the surface. I cannot do justice to who Hannah was, every little thing that made her unique and special, nor the emptiness that her departure creates. What I can tell you is how much this still hurts.
Seven years ago, after my own son died, I started skiing laps at Weston. At night. Alone. I found some peace in the endless repetition of V2 on the trails. I found a group of skiers who helped me–whether they realized it or not–simply to exist from one day to the next. So I know we will do the same for Marshall and his family.