Resident Nikki Miller will run the Boston Marathon on April 18 to benefit a memorial foundation for Glen Doherty, a former Navy Seal who was killed in 2012 during a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Miller met Doherty about eight years ago while training at U.S. Crossfit in Encinitas, and they quickly became friends. Doherty, who lived in Encinitas, later officiated her wedding.
"He was one of those guys who was always positive, always full of energy," Miller said. "It’s funny how many people considered him their best friend."
Miller decided to run her first marathon in his honor.
"He was one of my running buddies. I thought it would be a fitting, sentimental thing to do."
Miller is among a six-person team taking part in the Boston Marathon to fundraise for the Glen Doherty Memorial Foundation. The nonprofit provides scholarships and other assistance to current and former special operations professionals who are transitioning to civilian life.
She noted Doherty grew up in Winchester, Mass. — the reason the nonprofit fields runners in the Boston Marathon. The team’s fundraising goal is $70,000, and of that total, Miller is looking to bring in $12,000.
Doherty was portrayed in "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," a dramatized film released in January about the deadly 2012 terrorist attack.
Miller said there was shock, disbelief and sadness following Doherty’s death, but that Doherty wouldn’t have wanted anyone to "have been sad for any significant amount of time."
"He was all about positivity and celebrating life," she said.
Besides taking part in the Boston Marathon, Miller will host a chili dinner fundraiser for the foundation from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on April 6 at the American Legion Post 416 in Encinitas. The event cost is $25, and it will feature chili (Doherty's recipe), drinks, dessert, raffles and a live auction. Miller said Doherty was a man of many talents, with cooking being one.
Miller said she hopes to make the dinner an annual event.
"He would have loved it," she said.
Donations for Miller’s Boston Marathon run will be accepted until Apr. 16. To contribute, visit her fundraising page.