Family and friends of William Goggins plan to finish the last two miles of the San Francisco Marathon that he could not.
The 43-year-old man died Sunday after running more than 23 miles of the 26.2-mile course, which began at the Ferry Building and sent runners across the Golden Gate Bridge.
The former Wired Magazine editor collapsed near the corner of 19th and Illinois streets from an apparent heart attack. An autopsy was performed earlier this week, but the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office said it would be several weeks before the cause of death is known.
Family, friends and fans of the former film critic will meet at 19th and Illinois streets at 11 a.m. today and continue the run, at their own pace, to the finish line at Embarcadero and Folsom Street before a memorial service is held in the evening. Rebecca Smith Hurd, who worked with Goggins for five years at Wired Magazine and organized the memorial, said finishing the run is a way to deal with the loss of her friend.
"It seemed like a natural way to support him," she said. "Bill was a perfectionist, and he would not want to leave anything unfinished."
Goggins ran regularly for eight years and trained for the San Francisco Marathon for several months. He had plans to run the Boston Marathon and was on pace to complete the race in 3 hours, 13 minutes. Smith said Goggins’ family and his circle of friends called the "Wired Ones" would join her in the informal ceremony.
Earlier this year, Goggins, whom friends described as witty and articulate, left Wired Magazine after 10 years to work as a freelance editor. He remained close with several of his former co-workers. Goggins grew up in Mill Valley, attended San Francisco State University and is survived by his parents, who live in Mill Valley, and two younger sisters.
There will be an open-casket viewing at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 3 Oakdale Ave., Mill Valley, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will follow at 7 p.m. with a celebration of Goggins’ life across the street from the church at the Outdoor Art Club. Donations may be made in Goggins’ name to the St. Anthony Dining Room, 45 Jones St., San Francisco firstname.lastname@example.org