Dr. Seuss said, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
One of the things I love most about our group is that we love, we care, we laugh and we cry, but at the end of the day we also accept that change is inevitable and we're okay with that. It's okay because there is a strength that permeates throughout our group and enables us to focus on the great and memorable moments, rather than the fact that those moments have passed and will be no more.
Many of our most memorable WOOT moments have Kathleen at the very heart of them, simply because she has attended almost every run and social event since WOOT was founded. And because of the many ways in which Kathleen has contributed to the growth and positive climate of our group, I wanted to post some parting comments from a few of our long-standing members who wish her all the very best in her future endeavors.
Me: A week ago I gave Kathleen a fairly unattractive-looking coffee mug with a "Search and Rescue" emblem on it - in hindsight it was rather an odd and silly gift, especially as the symbolism behind it wasn't immediately understood. But what I was really trying to convey to Kathleen, is that the "Search and Rescue" emblem on the mug reminded me of some of the earlier days when WOOT was still getting off the ground; Kathleen would always be the one who would head back out to the trails or farm roads to look for lost runners. That's the kind of person she is; always concerned for others and willing to sacrifice her own time and enjoyment to make sure everyone is accounted for and safe. I hope it makes sense now Kathleen :)
|Kathleen and I showing off our new "greeters" fan|
|Anna and Kathleen - early WOOT days|
|Tiffany and Kathleen goofing around|
Andrea Kaltenbaugh: Kathleen’s energy and friendliness will be missed at WOOT. She puts newcomers at ease, and greets them warmly in the morning before a run. She often arrives to WOOT runs with a van full of ladies. She genuinely cares about each runner and often makes sure that no one gets lost on a run.
|Tiffany, Kathleen, and Andrea - always smiling!|
Amy Stewart: Kathleen embodies WOOT because she doesn't let anything stop her. Broken toe in Mongolia for a trail marathon? No problem. Unbearable abdominal pain for half of the 60K in New Zealand? Easy peasy. Don't let the kind, outgoing smile fool you. Inside, Kathleen is a warrior!
|Amy captured this photo of Kathleen at this year's Okinawa Marathon - this is at mile 19 and Kathleen is still smiling!|