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Runners will honor fallen hero

It was about 20 miles into a marathon when Teri Price found her calling.

And it had little to do with winning a race.

Six miles from the end of the Royal Victoria Marathon in October, a song popped up on Price's iPod: "Pocketful of Sunshine."

It was the same song she'd heard one month previous at a service for family friend Kristine Fairbanks, a National Forest Service Officer killed in the line of duty.

"It got me thinking, 'You can do this,'" Price recalls.

The song moved Price not only to finish the race in Boston Marathon-qualifying time but also to dedicate that upcoming race and each dollar she can raise to helping the Fairbanks family.

Price and friend Michele d'Hemecourt are taking to the New England metropolis' streets on April 20 hoping to raise even more funds for the Washington Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, an organization that helps surviving family members of killed law enforcement officers rebuild their lives.

The organization also provides training to law enforcement agencies for survivor victimization issues, and tries to educates the public of the need to support the law enforcement profession.

Price didn't need too much

training on the importance of law enforcement herself; her husband Doug, now retired, used to work with Fairbanks when he was with the Washington State Patrol.

Price and Fairbanks had other connections: Price's father Richard Grinols used to work with Fairbanks' father John Willits at Peninsula College. In addition, the two both graduated from Sequim High School.

But it wasn't until a month after the tearful memorial honoring Fairbanks that Price made her decision to make her Boston race extra special. More than halfway through her first-ever marathon in Victoria, Natasha Bedingfield's "Pocketful of Sunshine" perked Price's ears through her MP3 player.

"Do what you want but you're never going to break me," the lyrics read. "Sticks and stones are never going to shake me."

It was one of two songs Fairbanks' daughter Whitney had played at the memorial in September.

It got Price thinking: How is Whitney going to go on with life without Kristine?

"They (survivors) just feel like they've been left behind," Price says.

For d'Hemecourt, the marathon experience isn't new - Boston will be her sixth overall - but running for a reason is new.

"I had always wanted to run a marathon for a cause," d'Hemecourt says. "It's really moving to see how many the thousands are running the race ... for a cause. I just jumped at the opportunity."

Although d'Hemecourt never met Kristine Fairbanks, she says she is friends with her father Willits and Fairbanks' friends.

Running for a cause, Price says, is one of the reasons that keep her motivated to train.

Now, with each training

step they take, Price and d'Hemecourt hope to bring more comfort for 15-year-old Whitney and others.



A fateful day in September

Fairbanks was killed Sept. 20, 2008, near the Dungeness Forks Campground when she confronted a man, later identified as 36-year-old Shawn M. Roe of Everett, who was driving a van with no license plates.

Fairbanks radioed Washington State Patrol dispatch to check on the vehicle and Roe's status but dispatch never heard back from her and sent officers to investigate.

Once her body was found, about 50 officers were dispatched to track down Roe. Meanwhile, Roe had shot and killed Richard Ziegler on his property off Louella Road and stole his pickup truck. Officers had distributed photos of Roe within a half an hour before he entered the Longhouse Market & Deli in Blyn that night and was recognized by security guards, who called 9-1-1.

Roe shot at Clallam County Sheriff's deputies who returned fire and killed the Everett man.



Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com.

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