‘Tristin Never Held Back’: Lebanon Race Honors Someone Who Touched Many

Valley News Staff Writer
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Lebanon — A few weeks before the tragic accident that killed Tristin Roy, her brother, Tyler Carter, joined her for a run in the Upper Valley. Now, dozens of her friends and family do the same annually in her memory.

Hugs, tears and plenty of laughter — the latter would have been Roy’s favorite — were on full display on a pristine summer Saturday morning in the fourth annual Tristin’s Live, Laugh, Love 5K run and 1-mile walk to benefit David’s House. Roy, an outdoors exercise enthusiast and volunteer cook at David’s House, died two weeks before her 33rd birthday in 2011 after a pickup truck struck her while she rode her bike along New Hampshire Route 10 near her Croydon home.

The tragedy left a huge void at TomTom’s Lebanon office, where Roy was a technology deployment manager. The company sponsors Tristin’s Live, Laugh, Love event, which is directed by her husband, Dan Roy, and drew 68 participants Saturday.

Many of the participants were TomTom colleagues and other friends who wouldn’t normally run a 5K, but did so in honor of the can-do spirit Tristin exuded.

“You couldn’t tell her she couldn’t do something. She was always trying new things,” said Hartford resident Megan Albrecht, who had Tristin as the maid of honor at her wedding and called her her best friend. “She was the kind of person who was always putting everyone else ahead of herself, always making everyone else happy. Before my wedding, she came and got her fingernails done with us — not something she would have ever done on her own, but she did it for us and that’s just a tiny example. So for us now to come out and do this for her and for (David’s House), we know it’s something she would appreciate.”

Tyler Carter, who ran a 6-mile loop along Route 10 in Croydon and Newport just a couple weeks prior to the accident, has been to each of the four annual races to honor her sister. The Lowell, Mass., resident placed second in the 30-39 age group (fifth overall) in 22:13 Saturday while his fiance, Lindsay York, walked the mile in 15:36.

“This was the kind of stuff Tristin loved. If she were here, she’d be the one organizing it and making sure everyone was having a good time,” Carter said. “The ‘laugh’ part (of the race title) is a big part of it because she was always laughing. It was really loud,” he added with a smile.

Women’s winner Elisebeth Sullivan (22:35) said dedicating her performance to Tristin made it difficult to conserve energy for the stretch run on a course that jaunts down Mount Support Road — and then back up it.

“Five-Ks are tricky enough when it’s flat because you never really get a chance to get settled in to the race. By the time you do, it’s over,” said Sullivan, who worked with Tristin and ran the race 46 seconds faster than during her second-place finish in 2014. “When you’re on a course that goes downhill and then back up, you really want to leave something in the tank for the end, but that’s hard to do in this atmosphere. You don’t to hold back because Tristin never held back.”

Cameron Greatorex, of Lyme Center, worked in the same department at TomTom as Tristin and lauded her ability to galvanize the employees she oversaw.

“She was an amazing mentor. You can’t imagine how much energy and life she brought to the workplace,” said Greatorex, who helped man the registration table. “She had this incredible ability to multitask and still be delegating tasks to others at the same time. I don’t know how she did it. She’s someone we miss every day.”

Claremont resident Josh Fields was the overall winner, setting an event record in 18:13. It was one of two 5Ks Saturday for the 26-year-old, who later that afternoon ran in the New Hampshire Cross Country Festival at Manchester’s Derryfield Park. Fields’ mark at Tristin’s Live, Laugh Love broke John Brown’s previous event record by nine seconds.

“It was a little tough on the way back up, but I’m used to trail and mountain races so it wasn’t too crazy,” said Fields, a Stevens High graduate who didn’t begin running until two years ago. “The atmosphere here was great. The parking was easy and I liked how you got to see everyone who was behind you on the way back up. I’d like to see them build it up a little more. It’s hard (to draw a large turnout) on the weekends leading up to Labor Day because there are so many races to choose from on these weekends. I had four to choose from today.”

Dan Roy, who prompted runners to the starting line, announced “On your marks, get set, go!” to usher them off and handed out prizes to age group winners at the end, said that Tristin would love the event and its cause. She began volunteering at David’s House — which provides a free “home away from home” for families whose children are being treated at nearby Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center — after the couple’s own daughter, Erika, was hospitalized as an infant.

“I don’t know anything about running, but I love doing this for Tristin,” Dan Roy said. “It’s the kind of thing she would be all for.”

Jared Pendak can be reached at jpendak@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.

“You couldn’t tell her she couldn’t do something. She was always trying new things.”

— Megan Albrecht, friend of Tristin Roy