2 friends to run in Wine Country half marathon after both were hit by car

Two friends are preparing to run a 5K race this weekend in wine country.

They're setting out to complete a journey that took an unexpected turn three years ago when they were hit by a car just days before the race. 

In 2019, they were planning to participate in the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Rose 5K

"I'm super excited. It's been a long time coming," said race veteran Molly Byrne of Santa Clara. 

For Melanie Bauer of Los Gatos, this will be her first road race.  

"I feel a little bit  nervous.  It's something I've never done before. I don't know what to expect,"said Bauer.  

The "unexpected" happened July 11, 2019, just nine days before the women were scheduled to run the race together.

As part of their training, they were at the intersection of Wimbledon and Winchester in Los Gatos when a car hit them.

"The next thing I remembered was lying on the street , looking over to see if my friend was okay or alive," said Byrne.  

Both suffered serious injuries. 

"I remember being airborne and just landing. The first thing was we yelled out for each other," said Bauer.  

Bauer said she couldn't walk without help for months.  She suffered a fractured pelvis and an injury to her left leg that required a metal plate to her knee. 

"This is two surgeries. I had the plates inserted and the plates taken out," Bauer said as she pointed to the scar on her leg.  

Byrne fractured five vertebrae in her back and wore a  brace for three months. 
Both women said they still feel some pain.  

They said there are lessons learned.

"Just don't ever give up.  I know it sounds cliche. There's been so many moments when we've been done on ourselves," said Bauer.  

But they were each other's source of strength. The women started training for this upcoming race a year and a half ago. 

"It doesn't matter how low you get.  You can get back up there. You have to have that want and that perseverance," said Byrne.  

"I just want to be there next to her crossing it, regardless how fast or slow.  Even if we walk it, it doesn't matter. I just want to cross it and high five. Close this whole thing and put a big check mark behind it,"said Bauer.  

By running the race, she is also raising money to help family and friends who are either battling cancer or have survived it.

The two friends plan to run their first race together this Saturday in Sonoma. They hope it will be the first of many. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  instagram @AmberKTVU  or twitter @AmberKTVU