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Mollie Tibbetts’ legacy lives on in 4th annual memorial run

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BROOKLYN, Iowa -- Each year since Mollie Tibbetts' murder, friends, family, and the community of Brooklyn gather for Mollie's Memorial run. This year, after a long three years of trial delays and appeals, the run had a different feeling.

"We got justice for our girl, we got justice for our family, and we got justice for the community," Mollie's cousin said, addressing the crowd before the runners took off.

This run was the first event by Mollie's foundation since Christian Bahena Rivera was convicted of Tibbetts' murder in May. Mollie first went missing in late August of 2018.

SEE RELATED: "Can you imagine, Mr. Rivera?" Mollie Tibbetts' mom grills her daughter's killer during sentencing

Scott Cummings had been captivated by her story since news first broke of her disappearance, all the way in Indiana. Since then, he has run 188 races in her memory, always in his "Miles for Mollie" gear.

"Every race I do, I do for Mollie Tibbetts, I do it in her memory, but I do it for the family too," he said.

Despite never knowing her personally, Cummings feels connected to her and wants to keep her story alive any way he can. For him, that's through their shared passion - running.

"I started running because she was a runner, and I liked to run," he said.

Although the criminal case is closed, Mollie's story continues past the courtroom. Her foundation and run are donating half of the funds raised towards the Xavior Harrelson search fund. Xavior Harrelson is an 11-year-old Montezuma boy who went missing nearly four months ago, only 15 miles out from Mollie's hometown of Brooklyn.

SEE RELATED: Iowa DCI agents still following leads in Xavior Harrelson case

For the first time in three years, Mollie Tibbett's family can finally run free, knowing justice has been served.

"You inspire us every day with your immense courage, kindness, and spirit. We love you, we miss you," said Tibbett's cousin, as she addressed Mollie, "because we know she's here."