By Jill Fox
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Cross Country team continues to honor their former coach, Scott J. Beigel, after a school shooter took his life over four years ago.
On February 14, 2018, Beigel was murdered outside his classroom door while holding it open for fleeing students during the school massacre. He was one of three coaches and 14 students who were killed.
Robyn Mickow, who has taught world geography at the Parkland school for seven years and coached the track team, was very fond of Beigel. His team needed a coach following the tragedy, and she stepped up.
“I never ran cross country, but I couldn’t say no,” said Mickow, who worked across the hall from Beigel for the short time he taught at MSD.
“He was only there for seven months, but he meant a lot to me,” she said.
Four years later, Mickow and the cross country team are still very involved in remembering the beloved coach, shown by their participation in the RUN 4 BEIGEL.
“It’s just such a personal connection,” she said. “Yes, we have the anniversary of the shooting, but this is just for Scott.”
After Beigel was killed, his cross country team started RUN 4 BEIGEL, which has since become part of a larger organization created by his family.
The Scott J. Beigel Memorial Fund’s mission is to send underprivileged children affected by gun violence to summer camp, bringing them positive memories while keeping them out of harm’s way when they are not in school.
Of course, most cross country students participate in the run. But the team, including some alumni, also are volunteering at the event, starting at 6 a.m. on the day of the race.
“We set up everything from the shirts to the waters to the bagels,” said Mickow. “This time of the year, everyone shows up.”
Though the athletes who Beigel coached have since graduated, Mickow said their younger brothers and sisters, who know about Scott’s legacy, all want to come out and help.
The RUN 4 BEIGEL takes place on Saturday, April 10, at 8 a.m. at Pine Trails Park, located at 10555 Trails End; however, runners also can participate virtually through April 17.
Registration is available online for $35 until April 10 at 11:59 p.m. and in-person on the day of the event.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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