Like many others at the onset of a new year, Pete Rettler looked in the mirror in late 1993 vowing to make a healthy change.
He was in college at the time hoping to lose weight, and he and a friend ultimately made a bet: They both vowed to go for a run outdoors every single day of the 1994. No matter what.
And they did. Day after day. Rain. Sunshine. Snow. Anything. Everything.
Though both men completed this healthy New Year’s challenge, it turns out that stretch of 365 days was only the beginning for Pete.
A staggering total of more than 8,000 consecutive days – that’s 23 years and counting – has passed now with Pete never once missing a daily run regardless of weather conditions, busy schedules, health status, or family and work obligations.
“I’m going to keep this going as long as I can. I can’t believe I haven’t had anything that’s kept me from running so far. I’ve just been extremely lucky,” Pete said. His personal rules for the streak include that each run must be a minimum of 1.2 miles and can only be done outdoors. He averages 2.5 miles each run, but that can range up to six miles or more depending on the day.
And how’s this for another twist of fate? After all that time Pete STILL finds himself in college; only now he’s the dean of Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend Campus.
He’s using that position, and his incredible running streak, as a way to give back to future students.
With this year marking the 23-year anniversary of “The Streak,” Pete once again hosted an organized run on New Year’s Eve.
The “Streak Scholarship Run 2016” featured Pete going on another 2.5-mile run around West Bend; this time joined by various friends and colleagues who have run with him over the years. And, more importantly, those joining him each donated $23 – and sometimes far more – in honor of the 23-year milestone. In all, 88 people attended and more than $900 was raised, with all proceeds donated to the Moraine Park Foundation for student scholarships.
“I have been extremely blessed to be able to keep this Streak going for 23 years, and ‘The Streak Scholarship’ is a nice way to give back,”Pete said. “The Moraine Park Foundation does incredible things to help give our students an affordable education. Having this annual ‘Streak Run’ is a fun way to help continue raising awareness and giving to this great cause.”
For more information on the Moraine Park Foundation or to make your own donation, please visit morainepark.edu/foundation.