Trail run honors fallen law enforcement officers

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COLUMBIA — Molly's Miles 5K was named in honor of Columbia Police Officer Molly Bowden, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2005 — the first and only Columbia police officer ever to lose their life on the job. The run will draw nearly 800 families, friends, co-workers and supporters of law enforcement officers statewide to Columbia.

Molly’s father, David Thomas, said Molly was a police officer because she loved to help people.

“It just makes me feel awesome, very proud, very proud of everybody involved,” Thomas said. “And that’s about all I can say, is it’s just a wonderful event, and thank you everybody.”

People will run and walk in memory of officers who have died in the line of duty and honor surviving families.

Buddy Anliker, a lieutenant with the University of Missouri Police Department, worked with Molly and said she always had a smile on her face.

“Not that anyone will ever forget Molly and Molly’s sacrifice, what she made for this community, but I think it also brings back to, you know these jobs are dangerous, even in the City of Columbia,” Anliker said. “And the support that we can offer to our officers is important.”

The event will start and finish at the Molly Bowden Memorial Park beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

First responder vehicles will line the route at the start line.

All proceeds from Molly's Miles 5K will go to the Missouri Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors.

The money will support its mission to provide resources that assist in rebuilding the lives of the surviving families and affected co-workers of Missouri law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

The course will include a "Memorial Mile" with flags and signs for the 669 law enforcement officers in Missouri that have died in the line of duty.

Drivers in Columbia should expect traffic and delays along the course route between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Each participant will receive a long sleeve t-shirt and a finisher medal after completing the course.

The top three overall male and female runners will receive awards.