Thursday, January 31, 2019

Remembering Randy Kottke

When I wrote my concluding remarks for the UMTR Awards Banquet in November, I was thinking about Randy Kottke. Here's part of what I said then. I still mean it.

In 2018, we lost two beloved members of our community, Shane Olson and Logan Polfuss. We grieve their loss, and remember the gifts of generosity, joy, and laughter that they brought to us.
Their passing is a reminder that, even in a community of unusually fit and uncommonly good-looking people like ours, there's no certainty of long life, or indefinite good health.
Before every race, my coach, David Roche, sends out the same email. It say, in part:
"We are stardust with delusions of grandeur. None of this stuff matters except the memories we make. So *decide now* that they will be good memories, no matter how the race actually goes."
For most of us, trail running isn't the most important thing we do. But I think, for many of us, it's a safe place to experience success, and sometimes failure, and often joy, that we can take into the rest of our lives.
A wise person named John Storkamp once wrote:
"We are not saving the world simply by putting on a footrace, but we are spreading joy, creating an envelope for greatness with and amongst great people."
At times, our lives can get complicated, difficult, even tragic. Running won't solve that, but together we can create community and space to heal, love, and do things that last.
So go out there. Run. Share. Volunteer. Create memories. And, in the words of another wise person, Aaron Buffington,
"Love the trail.
"Love the experience.
"Welcome the tough times.
"And keep it going. Enjoy every day."
Randy, your spirit fills every mile of the trail, and we remember you with every moment of unlooked-for joy and unexpected friendship. Thank you.

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