Runner honors fallen Montgomery teen Virginia Jacks

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) - For one Montgomery family, Saturday's Half Marathon was more than a competition.

Montgomery teenager Virginia Jacks died in a car accident in Auburn two weeks to the day before the race.  It's a race that she had been training to run.

Saturday, the girl's uncle Ken Williams ran in her honor.  He says when he hit the last few miles of the run, he thought of her.

Williams said, "I thought about sweet Virginia and how she would have liked this part of the race.  She would have liked it because she liked to fight.  She liked the idea, the challenge."

After her death, Virginia's parents asked Williams to run the race in the girl's honor.

"It was kind of like she was there, in a strange way.  Just knowing that she had been training so hard for that moment, and to be there in her honor was really neat."

During the run, Williams sported two numbers, his number and Virginia's.  At the finish line, he met up with a tearful mom and dad.

"It was a touching moment having them both there and remembering Virginia," he said.

While Williams admits that the loss will never get any easier, he says the run was a step down the path to healing.

Williams said, "Virginia's life, although young, was the epitome of fighting the good fight and finishing the race.  She kept the faith, and she's rewarded for it right now."

A large group of runners and supporters were wearing shirts in Virginia's memory. Virginia's favorite Bible verses were on the shirt, and on the back, was a picture she had painted of a cross.

Her Uncle says around 250 people were wearing the shirts at the race.

Virginia's family has made a memorial website so that folks can add their favorite memories and pictures.

You can visit that website at

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