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The whole of our running community is so much stronger than the sum of our parts. The inverse is also true: the loss of one member is catastrophic. And the loss of Julia Millon is most devastating to the core.
I don’t know if Julia found us, or we found her, but she has been a spark and light in the club from the beginning. She brought the term ultra to everything she did: legendary skills at aid stations; badass adventures and races; raw and poignant writing; serving on the DPMR board of directors.
Julia always answered the call to run, as she wrote in her 2016 Canyons 100k race report. Running was intrinsic to her journey through life. And she gave so much to running. Not just her own running, but to all of us, sharing her talents with the running community in so many ways.
As an ultra-aid-station-volunteer, Julia was most memorable. She once fixed a dislocated hip at the remote Devil’s Oven Aid Station at Castle Peak 100k. Of her blister-care techniques, she wrote this in her Tahoe 200 Aid Station report:
There were still the occasional four blisters stacked on top one another, but those are treated easily, especially when most of the runners were in great mental shape. One runner turned down a beer offer until getting one such masterpiece lanced—he quickly changed his mind jumping straight to requesting a shot of whiskey. All bases were covered.
Absolutely UNAFRAID and tough as nails, Julia’s adventures and races awed and inspired us. From hard-fought-finishes to harder-fought-drops, her ability to push through a severe chronic illness was monumental. Maybe because she faced so many challenges, her 2016 Broken Arrow Skyrace story of a “race gone right” is one of my favorites.
After she did audacious things in the mountains, Julia wrote about it, so we all could partake. Mostly her writing was funny with a side of dark. Sometimes she choose to reveal her personal demons in a raw way that shook us, but also found a way to encourage us.
Julia wrote about her Tahoe 200 journey and left us with these words to live by as a running family:
Other people give us a reason to [be] kind and appreciate kindness given and show us how to be kind to ourselves. Nothing is more important.
All of our love goes to Julia’s family, especially her mother and #1 fan Kathy, who has been a Mom and family member to each of us as well.
Dear Julia: It is humbling to know that you considered us your people. In your writings, you wonder if you are “enough.” Rest assured, you have always been enough for us. The hole that you leave is so much bigger than the crater of your impact. But I think we will be stronger if we can weather the storm of losing you.
Author’s note: I have intentionally left this post with no photo, to honor the way in which Julia’s own words spoke for themselves.