VIDEO | Thanks for supporting Day 9 of 25 Runs of Gratitude for the United Way of Washington County | By Pete Rettler


Dec. 14, 2018 – Washington Co., WI – Today, Friday, Dec. 14,  I completed 24 years, 348 days of not missing a day of running. That’s 9,113 days in a row and run No. 9 of the 25 Runs of Gratitude.

The streak has become part of our lives and it serves as a common background to numerous events that have occurred in the last 25 years. I vividly remember Thanksgiving morning 2012. Thanksgiving is the curse of a wrestler trying to maintain their weight. Since I run every single day Coach Mike and I decided to invite the wrestling team to my house for a 3.4-mile run. We figured at least the wrestlers that showed for this optional workout would burn a few of the numerous calories they would eat later in the day. A handful of wrestlers showed up that morning and we did a 3.4-mile loop that passed through Quass Creek and the boardwalk trail. Coach Mike brought his two dogs along and walked the route with my son Max. When we arrived back at our house, the adults enjoyed some Bloody Marys. What a great way to start Thanksgiving.

United Way 25 Runs of Gratitude

Another run I remember was Dec. 23, 2012. It was another wrestling run where nearly the entire team turned out a Ridge Run Park for another weight-control run. We ran for two or three miles on a very cold day. Afterwards Donna provided hot chocolate to the entire team. That team won the Wisconsin Little Ten tournament a couple months later. It was only the second time in West Bend West wrestling history they were conference champs. Perhaps it was the run, or maybe the hot chocolate.

Another run I remember also occurred almost five years ago today. West went down to the wire with a very scrappy Beaver Dam team. It came down to the final match of the night. We were all very excited after that victory and most of the team and adults stopped to celebrate at Applebees. Jack, Drew and I got home just around midnight. We waited until after midnight and went on a midnight run. The next morning we went on our annual Christmas trip to Chicago.

Friends, Inc.

I had no idea Friends, Inc. has been part of the West Bend community for 40 years. According to Kate Nickel, Friends is the sole provider of domestic abuse and sexual assault services in Washington County. Friends provides comprehensive, trauma-informed services that support and guide victims of intimate partner violence to non-violent, independent living and healthy well-being. Services include Emergency Shelter, 24/7 hotline, Individual Advocacy, Support Groups, Transitional Housing, Legal services, Art therapy, and Prevention education. United Way dollars are used to support two initiatives; Emergency Shelter and Transitional Living and Prevention Education

Today I went on a two-mile run with Heidi Kilbourn from Friends. We were also joined by my son Drew who is home from Minneapolis and my new friend Shane Oppermann from Alexssa. Dave from Johnson Bus chose not to run but he did provide a warming area in his school bus.

Thanks to Johnson Bus for sponsoring the run today. Saturday, Dec. 15 we run for the Help Corner, the start of the run was pre-recorded, we will finish the run on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

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