A mother's unexpected legacy helps family heal

Tomorrow will mark a tragic anniversary in one southern Kentucky community.
Last June police say Christopher Allman attacked and killed Sarah Hart, a pregnant mother, while out for her morning run.

Her murder sent shock waves across the state, but in the year since her death she's left behind an unexpected legacy.

As Amber Philpott reports it's a story of hope, that was born out of tragedy.

Every serious runner has mileage to get in everyday.

In Russell County there is one group that meets often to hit the pavement.

For one of the runners her stride has been slowed, losing her passion when she lost the person she enjoyed running with the most.

"She pushed me I think, she was the motivator. I would get the text at 5:15 are we still meeting at 5:30? She would be like get your butt out of bed!," said Elizabeth Roberts.

Roberts was running with her sister the morning of June 14, 2012 down a stretch of US 127 between Russell Springs and Jamestown.

Roberts said that morning she wanted to run five miles.

Those would be the last miles the sisters would run together.

By now we all know the details, a pregnant Sarah Hart turned back, Roberts continued and hours later police would find Hart's body.

Nearly a year after her murder there isn't a day Roberts doesn't stop to think about the sister she shared so much with.

"We are in a completely different place than we were. At first you have to deal with the tragedy of her being gone, for us now we are trying to figure out how to live life with out her. I think the thing we struggle with the most is the disappointment of her not being here," said Roberts.

At two and half years apart, Sarah and Elizabeth were more than close, and losing Sarah was for Elizabeth like losing a part of herself.

"She was just so proud of me for anything that I had done," said Roberts.

Now its Elizabeth that is the one that is so proud.

Proud that in death she sees how much her sister meant to so many others.

In this family's darkest hours there have been huge rays of hope, one of them came last August when thousands of runners showed up for the Run With All Your Heart race in Russell Springs.

Friends, family and complete strangers all running for Sarah.

"The run was amazing, it did amazing things for our community at the time. I think it brought people together," said Roberts.

Hundreds of posts and pictures to the race's Facebook page have brought the family comfort.

Elizabeth has seen her sister's memory inspire others to change their own lives and that has helped in the healing process too.

"I know another husband and wife who weeks before the race they started to get up because they wanted to walk the four miles so they are still getting up every morning and walking together."

Many daily runners tell me they never hit the road, that Sarah isn't always a thought.

"Anything we can do to honor the life of Sarah is very big in all of our minds," said Mike Bradshaw a lifelong Jamestown resident.

Its been those words, calls, even text that Elizabeth says has gotten her family through a tough year.

"Its really nice to see how other people saw her," said Elizabeth.

Words from a young girls essay describing Sarah holds special meaning, it simply reads....

"The hero I picture in my mind is someone who unknowingly shows compassion to everyone they meet. They inspire others to be a better person without a purpose. Sarah was a woman I could look up to because of her unconditional love she showed to everyone she came in contact with."

Elizabeth Roberts has been able to put aside the circumstances surrounding her sisters death and can now focus on keeping Sarah's memory alive, and watching her spirit continue to change and inspire lives even in death.

"I want people to know she was a child of God, a Christian, a mother a wife and a good sister and friend."

Elizabeth tells me her family's focus is on helping Sarah's husband and making sure their three children know the beautiful person their mother was.

The second Run With All Your Heart Race will be held August 10th in Russell Springs.

For more information about signing up check out the link below.

As for Christopher Allman he has plead not guilty, his trial was scheduled for later this year, but has been delayed.

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