Dallas and Asher Henry live the running life.
The married couple stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord dubbed Dasher combine for nearly 200 miles of running a week.
Dallas, a captain with the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at JBLM, and Asher, a physical therapy doctoral student, met in college on the cross-country team. Their relationship took off running and eventually landed them at JBLM where the elite running couple is immersed in the running and coaching scene.
Theres no way I could run 110 miles a week through the summer and race 20 times a year if my wife didnt, Dallas said. Running and our success there has been enabled because of the other persons success. Since we met running has been whats really bonded us.
Dallas was accepted to MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas on a running scholarship and attended while Asher was there on a basketball scholarship. The small schools under developed cross-country team recruited Asher to boost their numbers and on Aug. 28, 2004 she met Dallas, who was injured that season.
When my good looks werent working I played all the charm of the kid in the cast with a cane, Dallas said. Somehow I convinced Asher I was worth dating.
And the couple has been in stride together ever since.
Asher finished second in her first cross-country race and then won her second race. At the end of the year she missed All-American status by only a single spot, but earned that distinction the following year.
After two years of playing basketball and running, Asher decided to transfer to Missouri State University to run during her junior year. Dallas joined her a year later to pursue his masters degree and was the graduate assistant for the cross country team.
The couple married exactly six years after their first meeting, packed up their lives and moved to JBLM in 2010. It didnt take long for the Henrys to make their running mark at JBLM and in the surrounding community. Dallas represented the JBLM Ten-Miler team and last year was the team captain.
Together the couple runs road races and track and field competitions and picked up sponsorships from multiple companies wanting to support Dasher as runners and coaches. Asher coaches cross-country and distance runners at Bellarmine Prep High School in Tacoma, where Dallas also volunteers as coach.
The couple ran for Mizuno right out of college, and eventually signed with Brooks Running as coaches. They are also supported by Honey Stinger and 110 Play Harder.
As part of the Tacoma City Running Club Elite team, the Henrys are prime candidates for even more sponsorships.
Its really great to have them and know that somebody else is supporting us, Asher said. Its great to have somebody there thats cheering you on and giving you exterior motivation, because so much of it comes from interior, but its nice to have that balance.
The couple spends nearly 13 hours a week logging their miles, but its time they are able to spend together. Weekends in the Henry house involve going to bed on a typical Friday night at 9:30 p.m., waking up Saturday for a 30 minute run, drinking coffee, walking the dog, maybe take a nap, then meet their training group for a 12 to 13 mile workout. They return home exhausted and are already thinking about Sundays run, usually between 15 to 21 miles.
Being able to train at an elite level and being a talented runner is a wonderful curse, Dallas said. Well start and stop together and then complain how sore our legs are after together.
Their lives revolve around their sport. Running is even considered when planning vacations. The couple went on an Alaskan vacation and strategically chose a cruise that harbored enough times for them to be able to get their mileage in. But if the couple could choose to do anything, they would choose to enjoy a run in picturesque scenery.
Its different but we get to spend our time together so its still fun, Asher said.
The Henrys are able to let loose every now and then, on rest days of course. Dallas takes a day off once every three weeks and Asher takes a day every eight days, while still recording 80 to 90 miles a week her optimum mileage.
In May Asher will leave for her doctoral program in Savannah and Dallas will chase her across the country, hoping to catch her at Fort Stewart.