Dave Terry 1961-2009

The Pacific Northwest has lost an ultrarunning legend this past weekend.  Below is the email Steve Smucker, longtime training partner, sent out to the nwultra list this morning announcing the loss of Dave Terry from Portland, Oregon:

It is with great sadness that I post this notice that Dave Terry has
passed away.  A ten time finisher of the western states 100 and a ten time
finisher of the wasatch 100, Dr. Dave was one of the strongest and most
compassionate men alive. He was also my training partner for the last ten
years.  I will miss him.

A funeral is planned for Saturday, September 26, starting at 11:00 a.m.,
at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Enumclaw, Washington.  It will be
good to see many of you there.  If anyone has questions, please feel free
to write me.  Thanks.

Steve Smucker

Dave near Table Mtn in the Columbia River Gorge

Dave near Table Mtn in the Columbia River Gorge

Several of us have already begun telling stories about Dave.  My favorite story is of watching Dave rebuild himself after a meltdown in Volcano Canyon in the 2002 Western States 100.  He was in a chair at Bath Rd in the shade.  I was behind him and my wife said when another runner came into the aid station, also dehydrated, having puked, and bonked, he asked the veteran Dave what to do.  His answer was: Volume.  Electrolytes.  Calories. Volume was in reference to his blood pressure which was low because of dehydration and all the blood at the skin trying to cool his body down.  So he sat in the shade, put ice on his body, and drank some fluids.  Next, he took some electrolytes in the form of S-caps.  “Why not first with the fluid?” I asked Dave after the race.  He said because if he was going to puke again he didn’t want the salt to come back up as it was very abrasive.  Last on the list was getting the calories in.  That was because he knew his stomach couldn’t do anything with the calories until his blood pressure was back up and he was caught up with electrolytes.  The other runner didn’t listen and continued shuffling up Bath Rd as Dave sat.

I passed Dave as he sat in that chair and he looked like hell.  I also passed the other runner before Foresthill, never to see him until after I finished.  I remember my pacer pointing out on Cal St that I was now the first Oregonian in the race.  That didn’t last long though as a flying Dave Terry screams by us on the steep downs after Cal 2.  He had rehabbed the rig as Twiet would say.  I couldn’t believe it.  What a turn around.  Dave proceeded to run well to the end and finished 13th in 19:25, 8 minutes behind M10, and 18 minutes in front of me.

Dave was a great competitor but also very generous with advice to anybody that would ask, even if it meant you would finish in front of him as a result of that advice.  If you were at WS this year you might have seen him in the medical tent as he volunteered his medical skills and knowledge to help us runners.  He got his 10 finishes and was giving back to the race.

I am deeply saddened by his passing.

Let’s hear your stories about Dave.  Steve will be sure Dave’s family reads them.

Update: See Steve Smucker’s comment below on where to make donations in Dave’s name.


  1. This very sad news about Dave, what a shock and hard to take. I’m so grateful to have had a wonderful visit with Dave and Steve Smucker at 2009 WS on No Hands Bridge while waiting for Hal to arrive. We lost a great guy and will remember him fondly.
    Be well and glow.

  2. Shocked and saddened by the news. All of us who cut our baby-ultrarunning teeth in the Pacific northwest have stories about Super Dave. I recall fondly the days of chasing him around Forest Park in many a race. Rest in peace my friend.

    Please let me know how I can contact Smucker.

  3. Here’s an obituary from the Enumclaw Courier Herald Enumclaw, WA.

    Former Enumclaw resident Dr. David Terry, 47, died unexpectedly Sept. 13, 2009, at his home in Portland, Ore.
    He was born Nov. 12, 1961, in Seattle to Dr. Irvin Terry and Helene (Montcalm) Terry. He was the third of four brothers and one sister. In 1971, the family moved to Enumclaw, where he graduated from high school in 1980. Following a year taken to pursue his passion of ski racing full-time, he entered Colorado College and graduated with a pre-med degree in 1986. He graduated from St. Louis Medical School in 1990.
    Following a three-year radiology residency in Chicago, he moved to Portland in 1995 to take a teaching fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University and then took a full-time position at the veterans hospital in Portland where he worked as a radiologist until his death.
    He was an accomplished ultra/trail runner. He finished the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run 10 times in less than 24 hours, placing as high as fifth one year. He was a 10-time finisher at the Wasatch 100, finishing as high as third, and a two-time finisher of the Hard Rock 100.
    He was an accomplished writer, poet, gardener and gourmet cook. He was passionate about the outdoors which strengthened his spirit and gave him peace. Friends were extremely important to Dave and he maintained close contact with his network throughout the country.
    He is survived by his mother Helene and brothers Paul and Lawrence, all of Enumclaw; brother Irvin and wife
    Kate of Lynnwood, Wash., and sister Frances and husband David of Whitefish, Mont.
    Friends and family are welcome to funeral services at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1614 Farrelly St. in Enumclaw.

  4. I got to know Dave for one weekend every year at the Wasatch 100 from 1998 – 2007. It seemed we always ran some part of the race together talking mostly about running and Western States in the early years, and later years we would talk politics, careers and family. One year after the awards ceremony Dave came over to my family and began reciting to my daughters all we had talked about of my family from the day before. My daughters were just like, “Dad how does this guy know us”? From year to year he would ask me how something worked out from the year before.

    Dave made a huge impression on me and I’ll miss seeing him!

  5. Such a sudden death, so unfair…Dave was always supportive of my dream to finish Hardrock, telling stories as we bump into each other in Forest park, when he’d have to slow down considerably to stay with me. He chatted as I did Forest Park 50k (and he was out for a jog) and we were so consumed in conversation, we got lost – on Wildwood at that! Just laughing how it happens. I remember how we did a presentation together for Montrail and he was all knowledge – while I was all waving my arms and trying to hide the shaking. I am glad I got to visit with him at WS this year, where he was giving back selflessly (after pleeding to give back to this race for 10 years, one for each of his finishers). he will be missed and remembered…

  6. I remember Dave well. I am the race director of the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run. Dave was always gracious with all of us at Wasatch. I am very sorry to hear of his passing. I remember one year he was feeling very sick at Lamb’s Canyon and he seemed more interested in helping and giving advise to other runners than worrying about himself. After an hour or so he recovered and finished the race in fine form. I offer my deepest sympathies to his family. I will miss him.

  7. Dave had a curious intellect, eschewed conventional wisdom and had an ironic out-of-left-field wit. Dave was the far faster runner, so I did not run more than a few steps with him. But Dave made a point of tracking me down before race to wish me well — if I didn’t track him down first. Although Dave finished at the head of the pack, he loved to stick around to cheer on us plodders and waddlers as we crossed the finish line.

    Some of us were fortunate to also meet Dave’s brother, Paul, to whom I convey my sincere sympathy.

    After this year’s Mac, Dave, as usual, tracked me down at the finish line. “I’ve got one for you, Big Steve,” he said. “Last night I was at the checkout of a grocery store and I struck up a conversation with the cashier, a real cutie. She asked me if I was in town to run the ultramarathon, and I answered ‘yes.’ She said, ‘But you look too stocky to be an ultrarunner.’ So, I told her, ‘No, we ultrarunners come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us are tall, some are short, some are skinny and some are stocky. And one of our ultrarunning buddies, Big Steve, is built like a circus strongman.'”

    That was the last time I saw Dave. I was hesitant to post this recollection because it might seem to be more about me than about Dave. But after some though, I realized my error — this episode represents what Dave was all about: First, he was flirting with a cute grocery store cashier (classic Dave behavior), and I’m certain that she loved it! Second, Dave interrupted his preening to talk about his fellow ultrarunners. Third, Dave stuck around, waiting for this slowpoke to finish so that he could share his story. Dave and I laughed our butts off.

  8. A very sad, tragic loss. I had the opportunity to run with and against Dave a few times at Western States and Wasatch. His medical advice was always useful and his comraderie welcome. As part of the older veteran ultrarunning crowd, we shared some short but great moments together on and off the trail. God bless.

  9. I only met him once – at the finish line at White River 50 this year. But he was very entertaining and interesting as he told my friend and me about being at Western States and helping Krissy after her finish. So sad – a big loss to the Ultra Community and the world – we need more people like him.

  10. I saw Dave appear in a DVD documentary about the 2002 WS100. He seemed a very pleasant, kind, and committed runner. I remember his quote, “not all pain is significant.” I also recall stretching out and sipping coffee in the Ski Lodge with he and Tom Riley before the start of the 2008 Where’s Waldo. Everyone was excited and giddy about the day to come on the trails. We were also in awe because we just saw, live at about 4:15 AM PST, Michael Phelps pull out his latest gold medal by winning the breast stroke by a couple hundredths of a second in Beijing. My deepest condolences to his friends and family.

  11. I didn’t know Dave, except for the few miles we ran together on the road from Sherman to the Handies TH at the 2005 Hardrock and when I bumped into him and Scott McCoubrey on Red Lover’s Ridge during the 2006 Wasatch. Our conversations were back-and-forth grunts both times, but I remember feeling grateful to be running near him, because he was very talented. I know he was a pillar of the Northwest community for many years and will be dearly missed. I’m deeply saddened by his loss — all the more because it comes unexpectedly.

    I picture him running the most epic, flower-lined singletrack trail right now, a big smile on his face. I’ll look forward to seeing him up there one day.

  12. I was shocked and saddened to hear about Dave’s passing. I remember Dave from many races in the 90’s and what I remember is his smile and great attitude. He truly loved the sport of Ultrarunning. His death makes me realize the importance and value in every day. My heart goes out to his family.

  13. Like many, I knew OF Dave Terry long before I ever met the man. He seemed to carry a persona that wove its way deeply, and from edge to edge into the ultra community fabric. But oddly enough, when I finally met and ran with Dave (when he wasn’t crushing me on the hills) we spoke not about running, but about music, books, politics, good food and the perverbial favorite – powder skiing! Dave’s gone, but my memories of him will endure forever, and his message indelible – it’s not always about running.
    Dave, I’ll think of you when it’s dumping in the Wasatch!

  14. Flash Terry! That’s what I called him. I knew him best over the phone. I started working with and became friends with Steve Smucker around 12-13 years ago. I had a lot of fun picking on Smucker (and the opportunities didn’t come up much)… so when I realized that Dave was one of the only local guys around back then that was beating Smucker, I nicknamed him Flash! (as in Flash Gordon), which of course, once explained he was happy to answer to. He was so full of life and always had a minute to joke around on the phone.

    Back in the spring of 2003, Smucker, Flash! and I carpooled together to Scott McQueeney’s memorial. Sadly, that was the last time I saw him at length.

    Dave Terry was a good man. I am sorry for everyone’s loss.

    Corriedawn Greiling-Fritsch

  15. Intro to Dave Terry,
    I`ll never forget the first time I met Dave,I was about a third of the way up Devils Thumb (WS 100)head down,working hard,walking when I heard this strange sound up ahead,I looked up just in time to get out of the way, Dave was coming down the Thumb fast arms windmilling he said nice job as he went by, of course the race goes up Devils Thumb.I assumed I had just wittnessed my first case of severe Hyperthermia but I was unable to help this poor guy as he was gone by the time I figured out how to speek again.
    I continued on with all good intention of reporting this incedent to the Aid station at the top,well just before the top Dave passed me again, held up his fanny pack and said oh I forgot this at the river.
    I was later to find out that submerging himself in a river to cool off was a common Dave Terry sighting on hot days.
    The next day at the awards I spotted him….the guy with no shirt on that looked like he had just stepped off the cover of GQ I introduced myself and explained that we had met twice the day before on Devils Thumb,Dave started to laugh and said “you know you may be the only person to have ever been passed going both ways on Devils Thumb” now how could you not love a guy like that.

    I`ll miss you Dave. John Ticer

  16. I met Dave on the phone when he had endless questions about C4P. He was excited about the event and the people he would be hanging out with. He was just a regular guy and I looked forward to meeting him in person. What a joy. He provided the runners with encouragement and good humor for the many days on the trails. I remember him passing me at mach speed on one of the more technical descents. He was happy running and I was just as happy to see him enjoying himself. Also his gymnastic display at the end of the 50K day was priceless. At Hardrock we shared a cabin together with other runners and I got to know Dave better. We cooked and hiked together before the race and sharing stories and laughs. I will miss Dave as he embodied so much of the community of ultrarunning I resonate to.
    Happy Trails Dave,

  17. I am sorry to hear of David’s passing….my one and only “Dave” experience was at Hardrock. I was hiking up the Cataract Trail out of Sherman, way in the back of the pack when comes this guy hiking incredibly fast with headphones on. I introduced myself and he slowed down to hike with me a bit,introducing himself…I couldnt’ beleive I was going up the trail with David Terry, who had trouble early on and spent some time in Grouse Gulch. We said our good lucks and he then went on.

    May you rest in peace, David…

  18. Dave was so supportive to so many of us and a great friend. I felt lucky to have known him.

    Dave was very enthusiastic and supportive to my involvement in ultracycling. I had the pleasure of having Dave come out to ride with me on a hard century ride with me last year while I was training for Race Across Oregon. We rode from Hood River over to the Dalles, to Dufur and climbed up the Dufur Valley Road, to Cooper Spur and back down to Hood River. Dave encouraged me to try this loop out and was so glad I rode this with him since it was the final climb in this years Race Across Oregon. Dave inspired me to focus on finishing, rather than finishing in a fast time, and thanks to Dave, that is what I did this year and last year at RAO!

    When I tore my meniscus in my knee in 2004, Dave was generous by donating his time by observing my MRI’s on his own time. He helped me realize that I did have a tear in my meniscus and helped me seek a orhopedic surgeon for surgery. Dave was also very supportive to all my post-surgery treatment and recovery training.

    Dave also was very supportive to me in my ultrarunning days when either running Western States 100 or other ultras. I think Dave passed me somewhere in Volcano Canyon in 2003 and he was looking so strong and he encouraged me on when I was have a rought time in the 100+ degree canyon. Dave finished in 14th that year. I managed to keep pushing on and finished in 22nd, thanks to Dave’s encouragement to go for a finish!.

    We will miss you Dave!

  19. I have known Dave for over 20 years and through this time he has been a great friend and partner in adventure. I met Dave during an emergency room rotation during medical school. Despite our crazy hours there we struck up a friendship and strangely enough continued it through postcards and letters as we journeyed through medical school, and later as I traveled through southeast Asia and South America. When I wrote Dave that I was getting married he flew down to Tucson for the wedding, greatly impressing my wife, who was also a radiologist. A great friendship was born. Dave was always up for an adventure and came to Tucson often for classic desert backpacking trips, and even a lake Powell Odyssey. Later, when we moved up to Colorado Dave and I began a series of nearly annual hut trips, visiting nearly all of the tenth mountain huts. During this time Dave was probably the most frequent and regular visitor to our family. It was always a pleasure to see him. We also came down to Silverton for several Hard Rock races, our kids providing a morale boost at Ouray. On his last trip out here Dave skied with each of our kids (including our 2 year old). Later we had a great time at our cabin, cooking, talking and drinking wine. Due to unforseen circumstances, we never made it all the way to the hut that trip, but in Dave Terry Style we had one of the best trips ever.

    Our family has lost a friend.

  20. A few remembrances of Dave! (a little long!)

    April 27, 1997 – I first met Dave on this day, the 2nd annual McDonald Forest race. Dave and Scott McCoubry were there to run the race. Dave finished 2nd and Scott finished 6th. Scott asked if he could set up a Montrail display after finishing the race. Dave may have been the first runner on the Montrail ultra team and was helping Scott. It was the second year of the race and I had some volunteers, but not the gang we have in Corvallis these days. Later that afternoon, all the runners had left and Jan and I were busy cleaning up the Forestry cabin. Dave and Scott jumped right in to help us clean and pack up. I’ll always remember going out to the parking lot after finishing up and thanking them for helping out. Their van was the last to leave, except for Jan and I. Dave would go on to enter every McDonald Forest race finishing 12 times and winning the 3rd year of the race.

    June 27th, 1998 – Larry Halford, my Corvallis training partner, Curt Ringstad and I were all running States that day. A snow year. I lost Larry and Curt on the climb out of Squaw Valley looking for a some trees, and never to see them again. It was slow going thru the snow, but I had no issues, or a crew or a pacer. Larry and Curt had a crew, but no pacers either. When I left Michigan Bluff at 6:53, I looked on the score board and made note that Curt was out at 5:04 and Larry at 5:53. I felt confident Curt would break 24, but thought Larry would need to run well to go under 24, he didn’t have much of a cushion. All night long, with no crew to give me any news, I kept wondering, “How is Larry doing? Will he do it?” Once I decided to quit taking advantage of all tender loving care the million volunteers at States do for you, I started running faster after Green Gate. I was not too disappointed not breaking 24, but at the finish Larry congratulated me and I asked, “Did you do it? I was thinking about your race all night.” He said, yes 23:49! Larry went on to say, “When I was leaving Foresthill, they asked if I wanted a pacer and there was Dave.” Dave did not get in the 1998 race and his good pal Scott came up injured during the race, so he was ready to help Larry out. Larry was too smart not to take advantage of this stroke of luck.

    May 14th, 2005 – 10th Annual McDonald Forest race. When Dave ran the race in 1997 there was a trail in the race named “Chute Me”. This trail was so steep, few runners could actually run it going downhill without holding on to trees. But, I’m sure a downhill ski racer could. When the trail reached the road it didn’t just flow into the road it dropped into the road. “Splat!” In 1997, Sander, the trailmeister and I when marking the course, one of us laid on the ground spread eagle at the bottom of the trail and we drew an outline of the body, as if the body just splatted down on the road. For 7 years, Dave kept asking me, “Clem when can we run down that trail again.” In the 10th year, thinking of Dave’s request and my last year race directing I decided a week before the race to change the course. I then incorporated all the crazy trails from all the previous years, including “Chute Me.” I once again drew the outline of the body. By 2005, there was now a huge trailrunning community in Corvallis, with lots of volunteers and they all insisted that I should run the race for the first time. It was a great day! I had a blast! As I was running down off Peavy Peak the last trail leading to the finish line, I would be lying, if there was not a few tears in my eyes, thinking of all the hard work for 10 years. At the finish, I got control, and as I was finishing the runners were banging this gong. It was a gift to me. Dave Terry had a lot to do with that gift, maybe one of the most unique gifts ever given to a race director. It will stay with my family for generations.

    It’s time for a micro brew and few hits on the gong in memory of Dave. Dave, thanks for the memories!


    NOTE: If the new race directors of the McDonald Forest can get it together, Jan and I will want to make sure every finisher next year gets n extra bottle of microbrew in memory of Dave. It’s on us!

  21. My trips to White River 50 over the past decade, were always brightened with conversations with Dave. He possessed a true gentleman’s character, wisdom and wit and a sense of humor that always cheered me up after a rugged well- run race, or a poor one. His medical knowledge about running interested me and he always cared about those that dared to test their mettle just for a medal. I will miss his strength and warmness and offer my condolences to all that had the chance to meet him, even briefly, because he was a great man that dared to care. God Bless YOU Dave! See you in a few miles….roy

  22. I’ve been stumbling around all evening after getting hit with the news. I’ve known Dave for a long time and had many conversations with him over the years. He provided a lot of insight and inspiration to myself and the ultrarunning community. He will be sorely missed, and I hope his spirit will remain alive on the trails.

  23. I met Dr. Terry back in 2001 when I was a traveling radiology tech. I had the chance to work with him for about six months before I left back to Texas. He was very personable, Enthusiatic Radiologist I have ever met. he made the day go by fast with “keep you on your toes jokes”, funny, orginal personality. He took the time to teach, answer questions and make you feel part of the team. I wish I could be in state to say my good bye in person. My prayers are with his family. Dr. Terry will be missed greatly.

    Gina Lancaster

  24. Very unfortunate. I hanged around and ran with Dave at Hardrock and C4P. Funny and entertaining. Always a gentleman. And just a bit on the edge. I’ll remember him finishing the last day of the 2006 C4P clad only in a speedo, vest, and bandana, and promptly performing a series of handstands before passing out hugs all around. He will be missed.

  25. For those wanting to make a donation in Dave’s name, we have set up an account at the Forest Park Conservancy, which maintains Portland’s Forest Park, which houses Dave’s favorite place to run, the Wildwood Trail. We will be placing a plaque on a rock on the trail in Dave’s memory. Contributions of all sizes, even $25 to $50, are much appreciated. It will be so nice to have a rock memorial in a location where so many runners will be able to see it. Thank you.


    The Forest Park Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
    Tax ID number: 94-3103055.

  26. I am Dave’s brother and the oldest of the siblings. I’ve been reading the entries on this and a couple of the other blogs that have popped up. Dave was a good brother and a better friend and we, his family, will really miss him.

    This is such a bitter pill to swallow. Dave had many friends in many contexts. He had a way of giving of himself to others that was just right; not too much Dave, and never too little.

    Thank you for your kind words


    • To Dave’s friends and family,

      I was a teammate of Dave’s on the Colorado College ski racing team. My brother Charley, who graduated after me, was also a teammate. I had the great privilege of traveling with Dave and our other teammates on one really great fun ride. We went to the Nationals in Waterville Valley, NH 1983 in great part due to Dave’s efforts. We were a cast of characters. My time and memories competing across the country for CC remains some of the best in my life. Dave was one of the main characters in a great cast. He will be missed by us CC racers. Thought I’d share.

      • @Andy Schwartz,Hello Irv, I was over in Italy when Dave Passed and only just found out. I am so sorry for you and the family and friends who knew Dave. He was an amazing soul and is so missed. I had been out of contact for a few years but always thought of him when out skiing, hiking or just kicking around with any of the old gang.Have Paul get in touch with me if you can. My best, Ian

        Hey Andy, what a sad day it was finding out about Dave’s passing. How have you been? It has been a longe time since those CC Racing days! Ho fun they were! How are you doing and where are you living these days? Are you in contact with any of the old team members? Look me up on Facebook as I use it the most these days for contacts. My best,Ian

  27. It is extremely sad to hear of Dave’s passing. I hung around Dave a few times after races, to find he was a star of a person, always willing to help anyone else for any reason.

    I went for a run today in Dave’s honor up to the first place I met him. It was about 300 yards after Katherines Pass on the Wasatch 100 course. I passed Dave here during the 1998 race while he was having some “stomach issues”. I went on to win my first ultra in that race. Dave was the guy I was chasing down! I’ll never forget those first few words we had. Dave said, “who are you”? I’ll never forget it, nor will I ever forget Dave.

    I’ll miss him!

    Rest in Peace my friend, we all miss you way too much already.

  28. I’ll always remember Dave most from the years he’d travel up this way
    (B.C.) for the Diez Vista 50K. He’d bring Scott M, Scott J, his brother Paul
    and a few others to stay with Sally and me. It would be a weekend to hang out, run a great event and hit the pub and Hon’s Wonton House. I think it
    was one of his favorite 50K’s and I’ll always remember his big smile and high 5’s on the out-and-back section of the course. Whether he was in the
    hunt for the win or further back it was always the same enthusiasm for life
    that came out in this greeting.

    “Dude – we’ll miss ‘ya”

    R. Lang

  29. What’s the right thing to say on these public blogs? How does one express this level of sorrow, this depth of feeling, without making a mess of it? I’ve been wondering what to say for quite a few days now. I could tell running stories, as is totally appropriate of this blog site, but the reality is that I feel intensely about Dave because of our non-running interactions. Dave cared about people in a way so few people do. He listened with intensity and focus…perhaps more than anyone I have ever met. His passion for others was clear and his intimacy in friendship enormous. I went through significant personal growth, including both exhilarating and challenging times, with Dave as a mentor. He was a role model for “success” when I was a PhD student and aspiring ultrarunner (and aspiring adult). But once I really knew him I realized the role model was not for success, but for passion for life. From concerts to skiing to Trailwalker to Mt. Hood, he shared with me a passion for being present in what you do, and doing it with passion.

    Most of what I’m saying you all know already…you remember it in his eyes. I cannot find other words to say to you, Dave, that I really miss you.

  30. I first met Dave when he beat me in the marathon of the Winterhawk Semler memorial runs that Red Fisher used to put on. I’m guessing that this is when Dave started to get passionate about running. He ran that marathon in 3:21. He came back the next year and ran the 50 mile race in 7:55 and followed up with 6:33 and 6:55 in ’98 & ’99. Sometime after this, we ended up living about a block way from each other. So, over the years, I would run into Dave and be anxious to hear about his most recent fitness adventures, whether it was running a 100 miler or biking the coast of Oregon. I have friends & family that think I’m goofy for running so many marathons or 50ks. When this would happen, I would always think about Dave and chuckle that my friends & family don’t have any idea about Dave and that special subset of the running community running 50 and 100 mile races through extreme conditions. I was always convinced that Dave was from another planet.

    I wasn’t real close friends with Dave, but always appreciated his friendship and helpfulness in asking about my running, races, and wear & tear ailments. Dave always made time to catch up. I feel fortunate to have traveled to McDonald Forest a couple times over the last 4yrs with Dave. I had an aggressive race schedule in 2009 and the highlights were the friends & family that I traveled to the runs with and/or competed against. One of my best memories of 2009 was completing the always challenging McDonald Forest 50k and then kicking back in the sun sharing beer and burgers with Dave at the Corvallis McMenamins.

    I’ll miss you buddy. May God bless you and keep you, make his face shine on you and be gracious to you, and look upon you with favor and give you peace.

  31. I was fortunate to be friends with Dave for the last two years. He was an amazing supporter. He listened to you like you were the most important person in the world. At McDonald Forest last year I thought I had lost my favorite WW shirt. Frantically looking around, he offered to give me his own shirt. I will miss him much. I am sad I didnt make more time for our developing friendship. I will miss his memorial but I am dedicating my effort tomorrow at HH to him. He will remain on my shoulder- a reminder of how strong we all are and that we should keep pushing, enduring…

  32. I knew him as a health care provider, and he was special…..very special. He was the “go-to-guy” for any CT-guided biopsies other radiologists would think twice about trying, or avoid, or would not attempt…

    At Cancer conferences, it was always, “let Dave Terry have a look….. he can probably do it”

    He would do them, and get the information needed

    His expertise allowed countless cancer patients the ability to have a workable diagnosis and thus be treated.

    He was friendly and kind. Open to any discussion of any sort, medical or not……. and especially his passion…. ultrarunning

    I give my condolences to you all, since it is obvious you loved him in many ways.

  33. These blog posts about Dave are absolutely Dave and incredibly loving. My relationship with Dave goes back to college (Colorado College)and to let you know he was the same person back then as well. Deeply caring, deep with conversation, loving, humble, modest, intelligent, competitive and incredibly funny. Always the person who had time for you. Not only were we friends but brothers in the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Dave was known as the Human V, DT and the MAN! Our friendship was true and one from an awe inspiring position for me. Dave, was an inspiration yet I don’t think he ever knew the impact he had on my education and what he added to my life. I watched at how Dave worked hard at his studying. In fact harder at that then anyone else I have ever seen. It left such an impression on me that i too decided to work harder on my studies. He was there for me with deep discussions after my father passed away and he was there to be the practical joker as we pulled many jokes on each other.

    A story that was told yesterday at his funeral was one that was typical Dave while we were in college. Our fraternity had an annual streak and Dave was the first to be in line. He was so giddy with this. But that is just a prelude to the the story. It is more about his love for shocking people. Dave lived in a suite on campus with five other guys in four rooms with a small social area. One night his suite mates had some girls in the social area and they were having a lot of laughs. Dave in typical fasion was studying for a very hard exam the next day. He was finding it hard to study and needed some peace and quiet. So in typical fashion, Dave strips down to nothing, opens the door and walks out to where all are sitting and laughing. With chest out, hands on hips and in all his modesty. He asks for quiet and explains why. The place falls silent with jaws hitting the floor. He turns around and goes back to his room. Dave later says, the only bad thing about it was it was a cold night. Dave’s second love, Being Naked. I know this isn’t a running story but I’m sure all of you have seen that as well.

    I go skiing with my son now and would think about Dave almost everytime. Well now I know it will be everytime. My biggest regret is to never get to ski with Dave.

    DT, you will be truly missed my friend and loved by all. RIP

  34. I first met Dave when he, Paul, and Scott J made the journey up to BC to run the Diez Vista 50km. At that point, I had not run any ultras and was definitely star-struck by this group of supreme athletes. After they had run, a large group of us sat in St James Well pub and Dave had me in a debate over the differences between the Canadian and American medical systems. We didn’t discuss running at all, yet this down-to-earth guy made me realise that I could do this sport.

    We crossed paths at many races after that and he would always engage me in some cerebral discussion that would force me to open my eyes to another perspective. I loved these conversations and I would try to turn the tables on him with a well thought-out point-of-view, but I never managed to unseat his confidence or intellect.

    I am lucky to have spent so much time with him at Hardrock 2008 where 9 of us shared a cabin for a week. I know that I will subconsciously search for him on various starting lines in the future. My life is enriched for having known him. Thanks, Dave.

  35. Like Marty, I went to college with Dave. He radiated energy and joy, and while he was usually the most accomplished person at anything he chose to focus upon, he was humble and kind. Steve Sundstrom, another college classmate, very succinctly captured Dave’s essence, He set the gold standard the rest of us aspired to reach. Athletics, academics, but most importantly, Dave was the most complete person I have ever known.

    DT you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten!

  36. Yesterday, with no other quiet place to work and wanting to feel his presence, I borrowed Dave’s office. The newspaper articles, letters and priceless child’s drawing that used to grace his door are no longer there, taken down for people to see at his memorial and hopefully to bring some measure of comfort to his family. I can’t count the number of times I looked these over as I waited outside Dave’s door for him to finish a dictation or a phone call. Waited to ask his opinion about a case I was puzzling over, to look at some interesting films that he’d excitedly called me over to see, and more and more in the last few years to hear his advice about one or another injury that everyone else told me I shouldn’t run on. My running mantra became “remodel the injury.” Those were Dave’s words, words that worked and words that I will depend on in the coming months to fight my way back yet again. Those are the words I will use to honor him.

    Despite the fact that his personal mementos are absent, the office still resonates his professional life. Textbooks, lecture materials, piles and piles of papers with details he needed to make decisions about or follow up on. As I look around I realize how unfinished his life is. How huge is his loss. How utterly his shoes, Montrail Vitesse I now know, can never be filled.

    On top of one of the piles is a magazine. Rocky Mountain West Colorado dated January/February 1975 and with the address label of The Washington School in Grants Pass stamped “Discarded.” I glance through the magazine and wonder which article made him save it. Was it the one about starving coyotes? About the discoverer of Mesa Verde? Was it the beautiful photo essay about the mountain winter? Or the interview with Jean-Claude Killy entitled “The Way I See It, I Can’t Lose.” That’s the one I settle on. It seems so Dave.

    I knew Dave as a colleague, a mentor, someone who I didn’t devote nearly enough time to. When I was called and asked to work the week after his death I could never have imagined the reason they were calling. It’s been very difficult to be there without him. The patient’s needed him. The place needed him and it is hard for me to fathom how it will rebuild itself. His loss is an injury the VA will be hard pressed to remodel. As it is for so many.

    I almost always ended my workdays in Dave’s office so it was fitting that, at the end of this day, it was his door that I closed. In place of the things that used to be there are now a copy of his obituary and a print out of one of my favorite stories from these sites. Both of the stories about Dave going the wrong way – once because he forgot his belt pack at the creek and once because he hit his head and knew only that he was supposed to be running – crack me up but also fill me with longing for one more chance. For the opportunity to gently turn him around and change this course. It almost seems possible; he was larger than life after all. This way, Dave, please. This way. With us.

  37. I’m posting to your blog late because I only received the news of Dave’s death yesterday. I feel compelled to share some of my memories of this incredible human being.

    Dave and I were classmate and brothers at Colorado College but that hardly captures the scope of his footprint, even at the time. Dave and I were Biology majors together and spent many hours in the lab working, laughing, studying and philosophizing about the future. Dave immediately impressed me with his intelligent, thoughtful and soft spoken manner. Despite his obvious talents, he was incredibly humble and never showed a shred of arrogance. Time and again, i’d learn some new piece of information about him, like finishing in some top spot at Nationals for skiing or an winning some other recognition for his academic excellence. I’d always learn these things from someone else, and I’d find myself reframing him in my mind time and again. To this day, I ever really found the right sized frame.

    He of course remained the same man throughout. It was striking to me how together he seemed to be, even at that young age, and how clearly he knew what he wanted. While I struggled with the various life decisions about career paths and personal discovery, Dave seemed to know from early on that he was going to be a physician athlete. Despite this he was always generous with his time and thoughts and we spent many hours just shooting the shit in lab or the field, which I will always treasure.

    On one Field Zoology course we took together, we spent a month in the Sonoran desert of Southern Arizona. Dave was so happy. It was a month in the field with quirky brilliant old Professor Beidelman, studying mountains/deserts ecosystems, with good friends and plenty of trail running. Put science in nature and add humanity and that was Dave in his element and I’m sure you can imagine how happy he was.

    I lost touch with Dave somewhat after college but we got together at his Lincoln Park apartment one afternoon, while he was a radiology resident in Chicago. He was just getting into his ultradistance running and would tell me about these ridiculous long runs he would take along the lake front. My life had taken other detours and I was only then considering an application to medical school. Dave and I chatted for hours before his shift was to begin, but he was still as thoughtful, funny and generous as ever. At the end of our talk he looked at his watch and realized he had to leave if he was going to have time to run the 3 miles along the lakefront to his hospital for work. He said “Sorry man, but I gotta run off and save another life.” He was only half joking, but for some reason that comment has stuck with me all these years. I think that may also have been my last face to face conversation with Dave.

    To me I will always remember Dave as an inquisitive soul with a great sense of humor who was an inspiration, a role model and a good friend. He will remain an important part of my life in my memory and I will miss him dearly. I share in everyone’s sorrow and I hope to honor his memory by living a little better just for having known him.

    God’s Speed Dave.


  38. I am saddened to hear of the loss of Dave Terry. He was so vibrant and full of life, but this is a reminder to me that we are only given one day at a time on this earth.
    Dave’s medical knowledge was something about which he wasn’t showy , unlike many physicians, but he was so generous in offering sound advice to fellow sufferers in ultras.
    I have many memories of Dave Terry but here is one small one. Richard West and I are the co-founders and for the first ten years were the co-directors of the Chuckanut Mountain 50 km trail run. One year when Dave was crossing the bridge in Arroyo Park on the way back toward the finish, he took a right turn instead of the proper left. Perhaps someone had removed the course marking, or maybe he spied an interesting plant or bird or cute girl hiker to draw his attention away, and since he was in the lead he turned the wrong way. But in any case he recovered from this navigational blunder soon enough to come back and win the race. The next year, and for a couple of years thereafter, we made a special sign that said DAVE TERRY and below it was an arrow pointing LEFT…just to make sure.
    Chuckanut was a special race for Dave and I think he liked the present course that Richard and I designed more than we did! The technical trails, the mud, the long climbs and descents on gravel roads, and the 10 km flat out and back on the crushed rock path ALL matched Dave’s versatile running skills. I remember him writing me a thank-you note, which he concluded (after we had muttered about some course changes): “It’s a classic….don’t ever change it!”
    I offer that the event name be modified to be the “Dave Terry Memorial Chuckanut Mountain 50 km Fun Run.”

  39. Dave was the most engaged human beings I’ve ever known! That is just the starting point for how one must begin to understand him. Having raced with him from the days up at Crystal Mountain, to Colorado College, to the days when he would come back through town and we would kick around up on the hill, he was as competitive as they come and really hated being beat by anybody…but, if so, was just so gracious in the congratulation of that person’s accomplishment. You knew he would be gunning for you the next time out but you always would have the sense that you would be laughing while the next challenge was being made. He was always fun to go out with due to his wit and disarmingly easy going nature in any situation. He will be missed greatly by so many! We’ll all catch you on the other side big guy! I just never thought you would lead us in this one! Ciao DT!

  40. It only seems appropriate to address this directly to you Dave. Thank you for your many years of friendship. I appreciated your willingness to bend the rules in life, to travel in coversation with me to deep and dark places, even though they were uncomfortable, to push yourself beyond what you thought was capable. I miss hearing about the little things in your life that profoundley touched you: the delight you got from your mom making the same birthday cake for you in your adulthood, year after year, that she had made when you were young or the look of pride in your face when you took my mom and me on a tour of your garden. You will be greatly missed here on earth. Wherever you may be, I hope you have found a place of peace.

  41. I first met Dave and His father in the late 70’s when they both competed in Pacific North West Ski Association races. Dave was at the top of those racers from Crystal, and he and his dad were intense agout their training and their love of the sport. Later he skied on the Colorado College Ski Team with my Daughter and we met again at races and with his team mates having a holliday in Sun Valley. On that Sun Valley trip I looked with trepidation at the bald tires on his car in which my daughter was traveling from Colorado and insisted on buying a couple of new ones for their return. Dave was a good sport about my over concern.

    In the summer of 92,while still in Med School he teamed up with me and my daughter and her husband to climb Mt Olympus in Olympic National Park. Dave relished a fast pace and we camped near the summit on the second day. We had a beautiful and intense climb, with much conversation of all their plans. My daughter and her husband were both in postgraduate studies at U of Wisconsin at the time.

    I was saddened to just now hear of his death. He will be remembered by many for his gifts and as one of those very special fellow travelers through our life. Fred Grimm

  42. That is so sad. I never knew the guy, but he seems a very nice and great man. I was so touched by the testaments of people close to him on this blog. I think he is now in a better place and he’s happy because he can see he means a lot to his friends and relatives. He will definitely be missed. May he rest in peace.

  43. Devastating. I finished residency with Dave Terry at Michael Reese in Chicago in 1995. He was one of the most “human” beings I have ever met. Humble, intelligent, funny, thought provoking….a good person. I have not kept in touch with him, or any of my fellow cohorts from Michael Reese, but his untimely death hurts me personally, because good people should outlast us all. If only.

    May you find fresh powder and only non-pathologic fractures. Find peace.

    Bill B

  44. I stumbled onto this site while playing a game of “what ever happened to… _________”. I hadn’t seen Dave since I was a teenager, when we were both ski-racers at Crystal Mountain. He was driven at an early age and was a great pal to hang-out on the slopes with on the weekends. Our Crystal Mountain Mighty-Mite team (12 years old and under) won the Northwest Championships several years in a row, and Dave was a big reason why. So sad to read that he had passed ;-( Wish I would have kept in-touch with him throughout life.

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