IHOP Memorial Run is Tuesday in Carson City
This Tuesday marks the fifth year anniversary since the Carson City IHOP shooting, and the National Guard is memorializing it with their annual run.
On Sept. 6, 2011, Nevada National Guardsmen Lt. Col. Heath Kelly, 35, Master Sgt. Christian Riege, 38, and Sgt. 1st Class Miranda McElhiney, 31, were killed when 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion opened fire in the Carson Street IHOP. Sixty-seven year old Florence Donovan-Gunderson was also killed in the restaurant and seven others injured including two other Guardsmen. Sencion shot himself in the head when police arrived on scene, dying later in the hospital.
Every year since, Maj. Laura Boldry has organized a memorial run to honor her coworkers who perished that day. She started this run because during the funerals she was commanding a unit in Southern Nevada and wasn’t able to attend, so this was her way of remembering them.
“I used to work with all of them, I worked with Kelly on a daily basis, we used to get coffee every day,” Boldry said.
The run will be the same as it is every year. It isn’t a competitive run, there are no times or prizes, it’s just whoever wants to come out and remember the Guardsmen. The run route also hasn’t changed, it’s the same route the group used to take from the National Guard compound to IHOP on a multitude of occasions.
“It is just a way to remember them and I don’t want it to be a publicity thing because it is a mournful remembrance of those that passed,” Boldry said. “We will never forget and we are here as a family.”
Boldry said she was actually supposed to be at the meeting at IHOP but she told Kelly she had all the faith in him to pull it off on his own.
“They said they would be back no later than 10 o’clock that morning and instead that is when I got the phone call (about the shooting),” Boldry said.
For Boldry, this run is her way of bringing her colleagues back from the restaurant.
“The run is my way of bringing them back from IHOP because they never made it back to work,” Boldry said.
“This time of the year is hard because I just think of them. Kelly and Riege had kids and haven’t gotten to see them grow up and McElhiney had such a bright future. It is sad to know it got cut short.”
Boldry said she appreciates all of her coworkers who go out and remember that day with her.
Carson City isn’t the only place remembering these lost soldiers. Soldiers of the Nevada National Guard’s 17th Sustainment Brigade’s headquarters company at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait will also be holding a run Sept. 5 to honor the three lost.
“I deployed with Riege in 2009, and I worked with both Kelly and McElhiney,” said Sgt. Maj. James Richardson, the 17th Sustainment Brigade’s command sergeant major. “They were special people, and they are missed by us and this organization every day. We have not forgotten their service, and that’s why we wanted to host a remembrance run at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, during our deployment.”
The run will be Tuesday, Sept. 6, starting at 7 a.m. at the Carson Street IHOP and ending at the Nevada Office of the Adjunct General on Fairview. The runners will then take Eagle Station Lane to Roop Street to Koontz Lane to Saliman Road to Fairview Drive. Anyone is welcome to come and run with the National Guard.