UF Law Students Honor Catherine Barclift by Running in LifeSouth Five Points of Life Half-Marathon
About 50 University of Florida law students and friends of the late Catherine Barclift ran in her honor at the LifeSouth’s Five Points of Life Half Marathon on Feb. 24. A first-year UF law student, Barclift was training for this race when she was struck by a vehicle while jogging and died one day later on Nov. 6. First-year law student Alex Perrin and other friends said the important part of the race was about honoring Barclift, not having the endurance to run the entire race. “It is a way to remember her and honor her life in turn—a very special day for many people,” Perrin said.
Barclift was not only training for the half-marathon to keep in top physical health, her determination was also driven by her passion for LifeSouth’s Five Points of Life program’s mission. LifeSouth’s mission represents five ways in which people can share life with others through donation of whole blood, apheresis, marrow and blood cells, cord blood and organ and tissue. As an advocate of planning ahead with family, Barclift was an organ donor and as a result saved one person’s life, Perrin said.
Students, faculty, staff, friends and others who were impacted by Barclift’s story honored her throughout the weekend. Many people participated in or volunteered with various events besides the half-marathon. The Five Points of Life Race Weekend included a 5K, half-marathon, marathon and kid’s marathon. About 100 people participated in the races in honor of Catherine.
Not all of the runners who participated in Barclift’s honor were avid runners before training began. But, Perrin insisted the challenge of running a half-marathon for her was possible because she had someone pushing her the whole way. “It’s always easier when you have a reason to train and run the race,” Perrin said. “It’s a really exciting time.”
Perrin will always remember the good times she and her carpool mate shared, including Barclift singing silly pop songs and making Perrin listen to country music at 7:30 a.m. on the way to school. As first-year law students, the pair bonded quickly and relied on each other to help ease the apprehension of law school. Perrin remembers Barclift as funny, bright, genuinely sweet and bubbly. “It’s natural to still talk about her and remember her,” Perrin said. “Our lives were very connected; she brightened up my day every day.”