This morning I got word that my friend Robert Merriman died. Robert was not only a fixture in our running community, he was a good friend to all who knew him. Robert was not an elite athlete, but where he stood head and shoulders above any athlete, was his ability to make everyone feel included and special. He was a true friend in every sense of the word.
I haven't seen Robert in a while. Six months ago he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer . When he got sick and stopped running, I didn't get to see him as much. The times I did see him he looked good, so this this is surprising news. It's my fault for not keeping up with him as much as I should have, but he has been on mind a lot over the past couple of weeks.
We used to go run/hike Corner Canyon a lot as he lived about a mile from my apartment. In fact, Robert was the one who introduced me to my favorite loop starting at the Coyote Hollow Trail Head. I never knew that part of the trail existed and without Robert, I may have missed out on some of the most beautiful runs of my life
Robert, Terri and I in Corner Canyon.
Zoe following Robert in Corner Canyon.
Robert was the first one to get a group run going. People loved him and when he organized something, people showed up!
This run a Liberty Park, Robert came over on his break from work just to be there.
One of our many runs down Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Robert and I were about the same pace for a while so it was really fun to run races with him too.
At the finish of the Thankful 13!
I remember this race as Robert and I were both trying to run a sub 2:00. We pushed each other for the last 2 miles and we both got our sub 2:00! 💗
The day I saw Robert at Costco. It was one of the few times I saw him out of running clothes!
I couldn't believe when I saw Robert in the Dallas Airport on my way to a race!
Another Big Cottonwood Run
Kandi, Robert and I on one of our Big Cottonwood runs.
Robert was also one to never leave anyone behind regardless of pace. As I said before, he made everyone feel included.
I had taken my first DNF the weekend before at the Ogden Marathon, due to some freak dizziness. I wasn't quite ready to jump into a 50 miler so soon, but during the 2016 Squaw Peak 50, Robert was so great. I was still struggling with dizzy spells and he stayed with me the whole time, even when (as pictured) I would have to stop and put my head between my legs, like four times). I dropped at 20, partly because I was ill and partly out of guilt that I was slowing him down. I knew he would have stayed with me that whole race. That is just the kind of guy he was.
Robert took this photo of me during the Squaw Peak 50 in 2016.
Robert was also very generous. One day he posted that he had an almost brand new tread mill (30 miles on it) for sale. When I saw the price was $50, I immediately thought it was a typo and he meant to say $500. I responded that I would take it off his hands for $50 LOL! When he asked me when I could pick it up, I was shocked!
When I got to his house, I asked him why he was selling a practically new treadmill for $50, when he could easily get more for it? He said that he had a treadmill and he wanted some one in our group to enjoy it. I could not believe how nice that was.
The day Robert practically gave me this treadmill! I will run on it with a new sense of gratitude now. In fact, I think I will name it Robert. 😊
Robert and I at the Run 4 Fun Picnic.
I busted out the Maniac Canadian shirt for Deseret last year!
We had signs!
We had flags!!
I love this pic of Joshua, Robert and I!
Robert, I pray that you are up there running trails where you don't get hurt when you fall. We love you so much. THANK YOU for being a part of and enriching the lives of all who knew you.
To his sweet family, I hope you find comfort that he was so loved by everyone and thus so are you. THANK YOU for sharing your husband and father with all of us. WE are blessed to have known him.
RIP Robert. 💖