Anyone who knows Jerry Kroll, knows he’s a big personality in any crowd. Jerry is one of those serious type-A guys who loves a challenge, so one Sunday in the summer of 2006 when we were out for one of our longer long runs — a run with so much crazy stuff going on that we even had a homeless guy camped out in a park in New West wake up long enough to call us ‘faggots’ as we ran by in our shortest short-shorts — Jerry ended up challenging Henry Chan to a duel.
Earlier in the run, Jerry and Henry had engaged in a little good-natured trash-talking over two races in which each guy had beaten the other by eight seconds. So, by the end of the run, they decided that the only sensible way for two grown men of apparently ambiguous sexuality to decide who was manliest would be to have a winner-take-all rubber match that autumn at the Okanagan International Marathon. I’d already registered so I couldn’t wait! It would be like riding the media bus at the 1982 Boston Marathon. I’d have a front row seat to marathon running history!
Sadly, I would have to wait. Jerry got sick just prior to the race, and Henry ran a massive PB and his first Boston qualifier to win what should have been a battle for ages, uncontested, in 3:03:42.