Ex-Duke University All-American Sally Meyerhoff, 27, was killed yesterday in a tragic cycling accident near her home in Maricopa, Arizona as she trained for the Ironman Triathlon World Championship.

A two-time Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier, 2009 U.S. 25K Road  champion, and 2011 winner of the P.F. Chang’s Rock `n` Roll Arizona Marathon in her hometown of Tempe, we first met Sally in 2008 when she made her marathon debut at P.F. Chang’s.  We saw her last as she competed in Houston at the U.S. Half Marathon Championship at the end of January.  In her short, but full 27 years she represented the best qualities of her family, her community, and her sport.


When we watched you win your hometown race,
You lifted our spirits with your verve and grace,
Pigtails dancing, socks ablaze, your smile
a reminder of our own better days.
From miles to marathons,
Then on to Xterra,
Now Ironman calling?
Another challenge, you betcha!
We watched you grow through tireless pursuit,
Blue Devil girl in the bun-hugger suit,
Who shared her passion with those that mattered,
The volunteer coach for young climbers of ladders.
For teaching, you knew, held the real reward,
Though return on investment could rarely be scored.
But you knew all along as you laid  out your lessons,
True knowldege emerged from quality of questions.
Today we learned of life’s cruel turns,
Your journey at an end as your family now yearns,
For days ahead that won’t come true,
When they’d have cheered your wins,
And succored your blues.
You’ve left us behind in search for a reason,
Grasping for cause to clarify the meaning,
Why such tragedies as yours that seem so needless,
Could be visited upon one who fashioned no malice.
Now this explorer’s heart that beat so strongly,
Has gone silent too soon, and, oh, how wrongly,
Yet bids friends gather to share with their laughter,
As they commend their bright champion to the deep ever after.

9 thoughts on “RIDE, SALLY, RIDE

  1. Beautifully said Toni. Sally will be missed in our community, but her spirit will be with us every mile!!!

  2. I never met Sally but just looking at her you could see she went after life with enthusiasm – I will try to add some of that to my life as a tribute to her.

  3. Toni, I met you at the Houston press conference, where I was shooting a segment for my film about women attempting to qualify for the Trials. I had the pleasure of capturing Sally on camera before, during and after the USA Half Marathon Championships. Her enthusiasm and zest for our sport and life was equaled only by your own. Your poem is gorgeous.

  4. Hey Toni….I just don’t know what to say, think, or do. Just goes beyond words. What a terrible terrible loss. Awful. She has a spirit and passion unlike anyone else. The skirts, leopard prints, pink knee highs…all fit her personality to a T. In fact, I just saw her and her wonderful smile two days ago at the gym…..a reminder of how wonderful, and tragic life can be. RIP Sally. And as always, thanks for sharing. You have a gift with words…..

  5. I read your blog, as well, Rich. Nicely said. Sally was one of those people that radiated life. Just look at her face, and those crazy compression socks she always wore, not to mention those bun-huggers. She had the zest, all right, and seemed to make a friend of everyone she met. She was easy to root for, and always glad to see. She left her mark in just a short amount of time.

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