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VIDEO | Thanks for supporting Day 12 of the 25 Runs of Gratitude for United Way of Washington County | By Pete Rettler

Dec. 17, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – Today, Monday, Dec. 17, I completed 24 years, 351 days of not missing a day of running. That’s 9,116 days in a row and run number 12 of the 25 Runs of Gratitude for United Way of Washington County.

United Way 25 Runs of Gratitude

What a beautiful run it was! You can never count on 40 degrees on December 17, and the sun was shining. On the run today, I was asked by one of the Impact 211 employees why I can’t run inside. I told her I made up my own rules and they are pretty simple. Average 2.5 miles per day, minimum run of 1.2 miles per day, and the run has to be outside. I could run on a track, and I have, as long as it’s an outdoor track. It made me think of some of the extreme conditions I have run in over the years.

The coldest run ever was easily at the State Fair conference at the Chula Vista in Wisconsin Dells, about five years ago. The temperature that morning was 26 degrees below zero and, to make things worse, there was a stiff wind out of the north. The wind chill was estimated between 60 and 70 degrees below zero. I went on a two-mile run that day. As long as I could keep my skin covered I was alright. The hottest run was easily this past summer in Sarasota Florida. I took a three-mile run in the middle of the day. The temperature was near 100 degrees with very high humidity. The receptionist asked when I left, why don’t you just work out on the treadmill? I told her about the streak and she promised to have water waiting for me when I got back. I sat outside in the shade when I got back and drank two bottles of water before I went into the air conditioned lobby. I had to cool down slowly.

I don’t mind running in snow, but ice is definitely a streak’s enemy. A few years ago, we had a couple days of icy conditions, you couldn’t trust any sidewalks, and the roads were nearly as hazardous. I ran around our hayfield numerous times that night until my GPS told me I was at 2.5 miles. Last year, shortly after I sent out the invitations for my end of year run marking 24 years complete, I slipped on a sidewalk and thought I had busted my wrist. My son’s roommate is in medical school and determined it was not broken and he offered me some rehabilitation instructions. It hurt for about two months and the pain finally went away. I have been blessed.

Today I ran with three individuals from Impact 211; Reggie, Stacy and Lauren. Stacy and Lauren were most definitely serious runners, Reggie did it for the challenge. We ran nearly two miles and ended the run on the Silver Lining stage at Fair Park. Yes, the same stage that is featured in a recent Montgomery Gentry video. Impact 211 is a central access point for people in need. During times of personal crisis or community disaster, the free, confidential helpline and online resource directory make it easy for residents to get connected to information and assistance. In Washington County, the majority of the calls are regarding housing issues. Substance abuse is number two followed by mental health issues. The call centers are staffed by highly trained caring and compassionate individuals who can quickly identify agencies that can assist the troubled caller. Washington County is grateful to have the resource of Impact 211.

Today’s sponsor was the Washington County Fair Park and Conference Center. What a beautiful facility and asset to Washington County, as well as the State of Wisconsin. Please figure out a way to attend an event, a concert, or take in the Washington County Fair in late July. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, Dec. 18 we run to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The run will be at 5 p.m. and starts and ends at Dunn Brothers Coffee. See you then!

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