More than 300 runners are expected to come together on Sunday, October 7, for the first annual Douglas Williams Memorial 5000 Meter Run, which will begin and end at the Montclair Art Museum.
On October 9, 2011, on a clear, warm autumn night, Douglas M. Williams, 49, was walking home after spending time with friends on a main street in Montclair. Within blocks of reaching his home, Williams was suddenly struck by a passing car, which sped away and left his body on the side of the road. The driver of that car did not stop. Hours later, when he was found, Williams was pronounced dead. To date, that driver has not come forward or been found.
Friends say that Williams, a member of the Essex Running Club, was committed to his hometown, his career, and health and fitness, with a particular passion and joy for running. He had completed hundreds of organized runs throughout the country, including six marathons in New York City, Boston, and Chicago.
Since he had such passion and love for running, his friends felt it only appropriate to hold in his honor a Memorial Run to raise money in an effort to help another longstanding resident of Essex County with dreams of attending the business school at Montclair State University. The scholarship will be to awarded to a local 2013 graduating high school student who plans to attend Montclair State University next fall.
On October 7, for the first anniversary of his death, Williams' family and friends will gather once more to honor his memory and make sure his spirit lives on at the inaugural Memorial 5000 Meter Run in his hometown of Montclair. Williams was a graduate of Montclair High School and continued his higher education at Montclair State University wherein he graduated from its Business School in 1985.
Days after Williams was killed, Bike&Walk Montclair urged the township to get "more serious" about providing safe access for all people, whether they are walking or driving.
Laura Torchio, president of Bike&Walk Montclair, said the township needs dedicated facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians that are designed, operated, and maintained so that anyone can get around safely.