- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) - A marathon race in Shiprock took a much somber tone as the death of an 11-year-old girl weighed on runners’ minds.

Organizers say the 33rd annual Shiprock Marathon and half-marathon drew more than 2,000 participants Saturday.

Many of them were wearing yellow, Ashlynne Mike’s favorite color.

Brother and sister Alvin and Alvina Begay, who both finished first in their respective half-marathons, say they dedicated their runs to Ashlynne.

Authorities say 27-year-old Tom Begaye Jr. persuaded Ashlynne and her 9-year-old brother to get into his van.

He allegedly sexually assaulted her and then hit her twice in the head with a crowbar.

Her body was found the next day.

The marathon course runs about 3 miles from where Ashlynne’s body was found.

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