Bearathon runners honor fallen friend - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WACO

Bearathon runners honor fallen friend

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WACO - One year after a student collapses during the race, runners honor their friend during Saturday's Bearathon.

23-year-old Daniel Jones collapsed just before the finish line in the 2013 Bearathon. He was taken to a hospital, but later died. A year later, organizers wanted to honor their friend who was a member of the Student Foundation, which plans the race. One way they honored him was to put Jones' name on the finish line tape.

"It just reminds us that he's still here, he's still a part of the Baylor family and the Student Foundation family," director of the Student Foundation Sydney Shields said.

Shields says the family also got a copy of that tape. That wasn't the only thing done in the race, though. Between the first and second mile of the race, Jones' fraternity brothers held a silent mile. Jones' roommate Landon Wilson says this was for a time of reflection. Runners would remain quiet while spectators would also have a time of silence.
 
"As I went along the race I could remember that silent mile and just be able to reflect on Daniel's life and just the legacy he left and that kept me going the whole time," Wilson said.

Wilson woke up Jones one year ago for the race. He says it was routine because Jones had a sleeping disorder. This year, Wilson says his friend was with him throughout the race.

"I don't think I would've made it if I wasn't running for a cause," Wilson said. "It gave me the will to keep going."
 
Wilson did finish the race this year. He says even though Jones collapsed just before, he still believes his friend kept going.

"He told me before he left that he wasn't going to stop and that was his goal and I believe that he didn't stop," Wilson said.

The Bearathon consists of a 5K and a half-marathon that starts and ends on Baylor University's campus. Money raised goes to the Student Foundation which helps fund student scholarships.
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