The Long Run Home

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 10:09 PM CST
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BERESFORD, SD (KTIV) - Melissa Sievers was supposed to finish this run with her friend, Sarah Carlson.

Instead, it’s only Carlson who emerges from the darkness of her friend’s driveway - alone. That’s because Sievers died from the West Nile virus earlier this year, after battling cancer.

The pair were supposed to run 2,021 miles. Carlson finished the attempt Wednesday night.

“So back when I decided I was going to finish this by myself. I’ve mentioned it to Nick and Nick had said to me, maybe you should do your last mile or two back where Melissa always ran all of her miles which is her driveway,” said Sarah Carlson.

For Nick Sievers, Melissa’s husband, the finish had to happen just like this. Melissa spent hours running laps up and down the gravel, taking painstaking care to make sure each lap was one mile.

When she passed away this past August, Carlson agreed to run, not only her miles, but Melissa’s as well.

“You know, of course, losing her was hard. It helps to be able to help her. And it just kind of had some more closure. Helps to say goodbye,” said Nick Sievers.

The 2,021 were agreed upon because of the year. But Carlson says the distance turned into so much more.

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