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Memorial scheduled for running notable Theresa McCourt along American River

Theresa McCourt was the first women’s winner of the Run to Feed the Hungry.
Theresa McCourt was the first women’s winner of the Run to Feed the Hungry. rpench@sacbee.com

A memorial service has been scheduled for a longtime member of the Sacramento running community, Theresa McCourt, who died April 30 when hit by a suspected drunken driver.

The services for McCourt, 58, are scheduled at William Pond Park, which is located along the American River bike trail. The memorial begins at 10 a.m. June 17.

McCourt was diagnosed in 2012 with logopenic primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia characterized by a loss of language and reasoning skills. Even as the disease degraded her ability to read, drive and take care of herself, she remained physically fit and eager to explore, her husband Howard Price said.

She went missing from her home in the 4200 block of U Street about 9 a.m. April 27, Sacramento police said. Officers searched the neighborhood and other locations into the evening.

At about midnight, Sacramento police were notified by the California Highway Patrol that she had been hit by a vehicle.

McCourt was walking in the roadway westbound on 47th Avenue in an eastbound lane, when she was hit by a vehicle. The driver slammed on his brakes but was unable to stop, the CHP said.

McCourt was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead three days later.

The driver remained at the scene of the crash and was booked into jail.

McCourt wrote a column on running for The Bee from 1990 to 1998. The British-born McCourt was also a published poet, freelance writer and editor of the California State Auditor.

She was a runner for 30 years with the Buffalo Chips Running Club. Known for her quick marathon times during her early running years, she was also fast over shorter distances, winning the inaugural Run to Feed the Hungry 10K through East Sacramento in 1994 in a time of 38:17.

She raced throughout Northern California as a member of the Pacific Association of the USA Track and Field Club. The once standout runner grew increasingly frustrated by her dependence on others toward the end of her life and often went for walks as a release.

A post on the Fleet Feet running store Facebook page asks people to consider signing up for the Fab 40s 5K Run/Walk as part of “TEAM THERESA”. The event is scheduled for July 29.

McCourt ran the East Sacramento race several times, placing third in her age group last year. Team Theresa shirts will be available in the next few weeks.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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