Eight days after Christina Yuna Lee was stalked and killed inside her apartment, the Chinatown community took up a challenge to run 35 miles in her memory.
The group planned to run one mile Monday for every year of her life, circling around and around the very block where Lee lived. Organizers expected the group would need between 7 and 8 hours to complete their mission.
Its organizers didn't personally know Lee, but said they felt so compelled by what they heard happened, they had to do something.
Lee died after police say a homeless man followed her into her building, pushed his way into her apartment and repeatedly stabbed her to death.
“She fought so hard even in her last moments, and we're doing this for her, we're doing this for all of us," Joanne Wong, who helped organize the run, said Monday.
The 35-year-old was dropped off at her building on 100 block of Chrystie Street the Saturday night of her death, and she had no idea someone was following her.
"The reality is, there are so many people who still don't know what's happening. And it's not just our community, it's the collective communities," the other organizer, Elizabeth Yan, said.
They believe Lee's death is connected to a surge in Asian hate crimes in New York City. The police investigating have not said that her death is a hate crime.
Even so, the large memorial outside her building reflect the fears in her neighborhood.
Gov. Kathy Hochul left flowers at the memorial on Sunday, the same day she spoke at the Lunar New Year Parade.
"We will continue to fight back against every form of hate that rears its ugly head. We have your back," the governor said.
Those completing the entire 35 miles on Monday will finish 175 around the block where Lee lived.
"We're going to be here finishing the entire 35 miles. But the point is that it takes the entire community to heal all of us and it takes the community for all of us to figure this out together," Yan said.