Out of Tragedy Comes Strength; Coatesville Woman’s Memory Inspires Half Marathon

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Jacinda Miller inspired others to grieve on their feet before becoming a tragic victim of domestic violence. Now, her memory runs on in the Chester County Half Marathon. Below are images of runners in last year's race.

The man hadn’t lifted a hand against her in the time they were dating, but on Nov. 3, 2014, he ambushed fitness instructor Jacinda Miller and killed her in a murder-suicide.

“Jacinda’s life was taken in a tragic, unforeseen, violent manner: domestic violence,” runner Jessica Rigo said.

As devastating as domestic violence is, it was the memory of running with Jacinda that helped Rigo and others deal with their grief — just as it was Jacinda who helped Rigo grieve in her running shoes in the wake of her father’s death to cancer.

“Jacinda was a force. An inspiration. A bright light,” Rigo said. “So many things to so many people.”

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Today, the memory and legacy of Jacinda Miller runs on to support others and help prevent more domestic violence, and the third annual Chester County Half Marathon & Memorial 5K will honor her memory on May 21 at the Coatesville Country Club.

“I don’t always cry at mile 2, but many times I still do,” Rigo said. “Occasionally, when I am running all alone in the quiet, I feel Jacinda in her rightful place — next to my right shoulder. Just for a split second, she lets me know that she is with me … to keep trying, keep moving forward … and to keep running.”

The course is certified by USA Track & Field, with the half marathon starting at 8:30 AM and the 5K following with an 8:45 start.

For runners who want to sign up, the half marathon is $75 for pre-registration through May 14 or $85 on race weekend. The 5K is $35 for pre-registration through May 14 and $40 on race weekend. Race fees are tax-deductible minus $10, with the proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Jacinda Miller Education Fund and the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County.

The event also welcomes sponsorships, which are fully tax-deductible, and volunteers to help with the races.

Learn more about the Chester County Half Marathon & Memorial 5K and how to register to run here.

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