Family and friends honor former Riverdale High School track star with a 5K race

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Posted at 10:24 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 23:24:51-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Family and friends of former Riverdale High School student Eli Cramer are keeping his legacy alive and turning their heartbreak into healing.

The track start was hit and killed by a driver while prepping for a track competition in Virginia back in March.

Eli was unable to finish his race, but his family is making sure his legacy keeps running through a non-profit in his name.

"Well he has very handsome of course," is how Cramer's grandmother Susan Allen describes him.

She said being in the presence of Eli brought out happiness in her.

"He loved life. He loved to run. He loved his friends. He was so happy at his university. Absolutely loved Milligan University. Life was very happy for him just too short," she said.

It was a short life, but one long enough to leave a lasting legacy.

"People are still contacting us with stories and we appreciate it so much. Stories of how he encouraged them not to give up, whether it was they had a bad run, or maybe got a bad grade, or something was going wrong in life. He was such an encourager," she said.

The 20-year old track star was out on a run when police say he was hit by a drunk driver.

"It was such a shock, it was just such a such a shock. It was so tragic. It happened in Williamsburg, Virginia. So the first phone call I got was that something had happened, he was hit by a car. We were, you know, just praying it wasn't something serious. And then the second phone call came and told us," Allen said.

On Saturday about 300 people will be lacing up their sneakers and gathering at Riverdale High School for a 5K in honor of Eli Cramer. Money raised from the race will be used to benefit other student-athletes.

"Anything concerning Eli is going to go to this non-profit so that scholarships can go on in his memory," Allen said.

If you would like to sign up for the race or donate to the Live Like Eli non-profit, you can find more information HERE.