Running with Carl for 25 years

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Running with Carl for 25 years

The Girls’ Cross Country team stretches together before running Run with Carl.

The Girls’ Cross Country team stretches together before running Run with Carl.

Asst. Coach Melissa Martinez

The Girls’ Cross Country team stretches together before running Run with Carl.

Asst. Coach Melissa Martinez

Asst. Coach Melissa Martinez

The Girls’ Cross Country team stretches together before running Run with Carl.

Ava Sorgenfrey, Sports Editor

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The Run with Carl is an annual road race the Girls’ Cross Country team participated in on September 2 at Middle Park in Bettendorf, Iowa. This year was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the race.

Each year the Girls’ Cross Country team takes part in the Run with Carl, a race created as a memorial for Carl D. Schillig. Schillig, a 15-year old Pleasant Valley student, killed in a car-pedestrian accident in 1994. Schillig was a track and cross country runner, while also participating in many extracurriculars outside of school. This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the race, carrying on the legacy Schillig hoped to create.

The race was created in 1995 to raise money for the Carl D. Schillig Memorial Fund, a fund which provides scholarships to students. Initially the scholarships went to Pleasant Valley students, but in 2004 the fund was opened up to Bettendorf students as well. After 20 years of hosting the race, it was decided by the family the race would be discontinued, but the scholarships would still be awarded. 

After the Schillig family retired the race, the Pleasant Valley Educational Foundation and the Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation came together and decided to continue hosting the race in 2014. The following year, Ascentra Credit Union became the primary sponsor for the race. The race continues to provide scholarships every year for both Pleasant Valley and Bettendorf students.

The road race has become a tradition for the Girls’ Cross Country team, as well as members of the Boys’ Cross Country team. Jane Wheeler, head Girls’ Cross Country coach, has always felt the road race is an important event for the team to attend. “We as a collective group, have been running the race since I started coaching 17 years ago.” When asked about why the race is ran every year Wheeler said, “We run the race as a team to honor the Schillig family, as they were part of the Pleasant Valley Community School District, and it is inspiring to see how the family turned a tragedy into a positive event for the community.”

Wheeler instilled in the team the race is not just an opportunity to enhance training but a way to show support for a Pleasant Valley family. Lauren Buechel, a senior on the team sees the value in running the race. “The race is very important to take part in every year. Running the race supports such a great foundation that Run with Carl has built throughout the years. Not only is it important for that reason but it’s important to remember Carl Schillig’s spirit and memory”