On September 4, 2011 the fires came. The worst in the history of Texas. It was nothing you could truly be ready for. A great deal was lost and countless tears were shed. The lives of many were forever changed. Driving down highway 71 or 21 is a lasting reminder of all that was taken from this town. But if you look carefully, every so often among the multitude of blackened trees, a single, green pine can be found. Despite the charring of its base, it remains standing. A beacon of color in a sea of black and gray. Having survived the heat and flames it stands strong – enduring and persevering. A single, burning pine representing determination and hope. It speaks to us in ways we cannot explain. And regardless whether it’s a whisper or scream, we all hear it one way or another. And that’s how the carefully considered name arose – from the strength of a single tree.
We also wanted an event that would serve as a reminder for years to come. And when people heard the name, they would know what it stood for and remember that day. They would lace up their shoes and run or walk together as if to say, “We made it and we’re moving forward through the smoke and flames to a place where we can breathe, settle down, and be happy again.”
So run hard, run happy, and run the Burning Pine.