Published October 24th, 2012
Father Runs Marathon in Son's Memory
Submitted by Jim Holt
Jim Holt smiles at the Half Moon Bay International Marathon Photo Provided
The sign read "only 0.2 to go - Hail to the Queen." Moraga resident Jim Holt was nearing the end of his long journey and had been running for over five hours. On September 23, at age 56, Holt was almost finished with his first marathon. "I started training for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon 10 months ago," he said. "Last November I decided to create a challenge for myself to honor my son Ryan. Ryan was killed in a motorcycle accident here in Moraga in 2007."
Holt has been running on and off since high school but most of the runs were just three to four miles. A marathon had always been an endeavor he wanted to accomplish but he never had a good reason to run one. "Now I had found my reason," he said. "I chose Half Moon Bay because of the location, cool weather and a relatively flat terrain. These are all important factors to consider when setting out to run 26.2 miles."
While training Holt found he had many hours to simply think. "I decided to make the run a personal fund raising event for the Contra Costa Crisis Center.
The Crisis Center is a non-profit organization that provides free services to the county including 24/7 crisis lines, 211 and grief counseling," he said. "For a couple years I was in a grief support group for parents who had lost a child. The loss of a child changes how you view life and what you choose to do with your future." Recently, Holt became a volunteer grief counselor with the Crisis Center.
Holt, along with his oldest son Kyle, created a website ( that explains why he ran the marathon, shows pictures of Ryan, the family and provides a link to donate to the Crisis Center. The two have raised over $5,400 in donations.
"Running that last 0.2 mile and crossing the finish line was a very emotional experience," Holt said. "It marked the culmination of many months of hard work and reflection on the loss of Ryan. This marathon is a memory I'll cherish the rest of my life."

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