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Thanks for supporting Day 10 of 25 Runs of Gratitude for United Way of Washington County | By Pete Rettler

25 Runs in Chicago


Dec. 15, 2018 – Chicago, WI – Today I completed 24 years, 349 days of not missing a day of running. That’s 9,114 days in a row and run number 10 of the 25 Runs of Gratitude.

One of the best opportunities I experienced since working in West Bend was our Chambers Leadership Greater West Bend program. To this day I still routinely interact with members of my graduating class. Several of these individuals are sponsors of the 25 Runs of Gratitude. I highly recommend the program to anyone that intends to make a difference in West Bend.

United Way 25 Runs of Gratitude

One of the days we listened to a presentation by Craig Hoeppner about all of the wonderful parks, trails, and facilities that are available in West Bend. It was during that presentation that I learned about a set of trails that were nearly in my back yard: the Quaas Creek trails. The trails have become a regular running route for me over the years. I access the trail either off of river road or a gravel path just south of Piggly Wiggly.

Photo courtesy Park Tours –

The trail features both paved, gravel and boardwalk surfaces. In Fall, it provides beautiful views of the changing colors. During the summer months, the trees provide a serene and calming environment. You have to be careful if you are running the boardwalk portion of the trail after a rain because it becomes extremely slippery. I learned that the hard way. The boardwalk does flood occasionally and I have had to take off my running shoes and socks and walk barefoot through the potion that was flooded. The trail has a whole different experience during the winter months, you see things that are hidden by the brush and leaves


The boardwalk trail also provided one of my scariest runs. I don’t know how many years ago it was but I know it was deer hunting season. I was in the longest portion of the boardwalk when suddenly standing in the middle of the boardwalk was a large buck. The buck didn’t move a muscle as I started to approach. I stopped running and stood silent. It was then that the buck started snorting and walked aggressively towards me. I didn’t know what to do so I yelled in my most growling voice, “get out of my way”. I am sure I also added an expletive, I was very scared. The deer slowly hopped off the boardwalk and stopped, it turned and was staring at me. I kept my eye on him as I walked, then started running past him. I got to my two mile mark and turned around and headed back the same route. The buck hadn’t moved an inch and stared at me again as I slowly ran past him. I have never been bit by a dog, but I thought I was going to have to wrestle a buck.

Today I visited with Nancy Bloom of the H.E.L.P. Corner. The H.E.L.P. Corner provides medical equipment to individuals who need it. They get their equipment from donations, they clean the equipment and make sure it is in great condition. Their numbers of clients helped are staggering and they just opened a new location in Hartford. Another great United Way agency proving incredible service to our area.

The run was sponsored by the Keagle family in honor of all United Way programs. Mike Keagle served on the United Way Board with me, and is also a Leadership Greater West Bend classmate of mine. So many great companies and people have come forward to support this event, I am so grateful.

Sunday, Dec. 16 we run for the United Way, and it is being sponsored by the Salberg Law firm, see you then!



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