I wanted to give a toast last night to Doug & Kerry, I had a lot on the tip of my tongue, but I hadn’t prepared anything and I’m no good at trying to ad lib these things.  So here is my belated toast to Doug & Kerry, the rare WUSsie couple that has managed not to have their names merged into one (Torstin, Clapon, Marthon……).


In March of 2010 I was in one of my deep funks that I get from time to time and which can go on for several months, this one triggered by losing my beloved cat in a snowstorm and being injured and unable to run, all on top of my usual end-of-winter doldrums.  Usually it’s a long process to break me out of the self-perpetuating cycle of self-loathing and this sense of entropy, and my friends were having very little success this time.  But when Sean Andrish told me that Kerry and Doug were seeing each other, it was like the curse was broken with a single lightning bolt, the world snapped together.

Because you come across only a handful of people in your life that seem so deserving of happiness, that anything short of an eternal blissful existence seems to violate your entire sense of world order.  And Kerry Owens is definitely one of those saint-like people.  Kerry is so generous that we can’t help but take it for granted.  All of us do — because the generosity is so seamless and comes across so naturally it’s almost invisible.  You have to kick yourself from time to time that the WUS house is not this magical castle in Woodley Park that God bequeathed upon all trail runners for their perpetual Tuesday night merriment — and occasional donut runs, beer miles, fatasses, etc.  Because God really digs trail runners.  The same can be said for Portobella, or for Kerry’s house in Frisco.  In fact, if you consider for a moment our amazing club of runners, you don’t have to look far to realize that so much of our club’s foundation has been laid by Kerry’s incredible open door (and real estate empire~).  I can say personally that if it weren’t for WUS and Kerry I wouldn’t be a trail runner today, that I wouldn’t have run the Women’s Half this weekend, that I wouldn’t have met Aaron — and I’m sure a lot of you guys could say the same.

Sometimes I try to think about what we can give back to someone who gives so much.  And the main conclusion seems to be that our main obligation is to never take it all for granted, or to allow someone’s great generosities of the past to become burdens of the future.  I’ll admit, as absolutely delighted as I was about Kerry and Doug’s marriage, there was also a sinking feeling that it could be a harbinger of the end of the WUS house.  But while it makes me so sad to think that there might come a day where I don’t trot over to 2711 Woodley Road on Tuesday nights (seriously one of my main criteria for buying my apartment in Cleveland Park was that it had to be near the WUS house — my real estate agents were so perplexed by what this mysterious runner group house thing was), you have to realize that the WUS house is a crazy gift, that we’ve all been so fortunate to enjoy long enough to meet each other and build such long-lasting friendships.  I owe so much of my happiness to that crazy Woodley House (I was so confused when Sean first tried to explain it to me — wait, you have married people living in your attic??), which so embodies the zany, free-form spirit of ultra-running.

But Doug and Kerry, while we like to think that you love us so much that you want us in your house forever because we are so cool and fun and wonderful, and plead that the DC running community will be hit with shock waves by any changes to WUS, we know that you have spoiled us rotten, that people like Kerry Owens do not exist in any other universe known to man, and that we have been living in a dreamlike reality that some day we will have to wake up from.  It will be so damn hard, but I’ll try not to hit the snooze button.




One Response to A Toast

  1. Kimba says:

    Well done. A nice toast to Doug and Kerry!

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