Monday, June 27, 2011

WOOT says farewell to Kathleen

I read a Dr. Seuss quote recently which made me think of friends who have been a blessing and inspiration in our lives, but who sadly, have either moved on and left us or are getting ready to say goodbye and leave us. One such friend is a favorite and much-loved WOOT member, Kathleen Lennard, who has been with WOOT since the beginning and who has played a significant role in building our membership.

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 Boom: Kathleen Lennard has been the heart of WOOT. She is the woman who invites every single woman she knows or sees, no matter if she knows them or not. Without Kathleen, we would not have 220 of our 230 members.

Anna and Kathleen - early WOOT days
Tiffany Powell: Kathleen has a positive, enthusiastic attitude towards running that she shares with her WOOT friends. It is through these characteristics and her outgoing personality that she is also able to recruit new WOOT runners. Kathleen is a valuable member of WOOT that will be missed.

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!
WOOT WOOT Kathleen, and sayonara! You will be missed but I'm sure that some of us will cross paths with you again, and when that encounter occurs, I won't be surprised if it's on some Coronado trail with you at the helm of a great group of girls who call themselves WOOT in SoCal.


  1. Kathleen LennardJune 28, 2011 at 6:45 AM

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  2. Kathleen LennardJune 28, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    What a wonderful and humbling surprise, Jannine. WOOT has been such an incredible experience for me. When Anna first asked me to join a small group of trail runners (back then we had no idea how big this would get!) I was really intimidated. But thanks to Amy's photos of the first run, I couldn't wait to get out on the second Saturday. It was just what I needed to get out of a marathon training rut and ENJOY running again. Its also an incredible way to see a new side to Okinawa..and Mongolia..and New Zealand! Thank you to all of the WOOT women. I have enjoyed every run and been inspired by you all. I will be keeping WOOT posted on trail runs in CA so look forward to a destination run there in the future!

  3. Destination run in CALI!!! Let's do it!
    I haven't made it out to very many WOOT runs but I am very eager to see where this leads - meeting so many ambitious running women has certainly been empowering to say the least! I look forward to destination trail runs once I get some more experience under my feet!