Why I run: Alum runs with purpose

Alex Weiss/Sports Editor/aweiss@mail.smcvt.edu

“One of my dear friends had passed away from pancreatic cancer,” Schaedel said, “So when I went to Philly [Philadel-

phia] I signed up for a pancreatic cancer fundraiser run.”

Schaedel crosses the finish line on Ocean Avenue in Spring Lake N.J., unofficially known as the “Irish Rivera”

With The Equality Invitational taking place, St. Michael’s College Alumni Garry Schaedel ’77, explains his story and why he runs.

Schaedel volunteered for VISTA (now AmeriCorps) marketing for the Montana Human Rights Division.

“I got there to create equality in em- employment, housing, and other places…

this was my introduction to equality from a legal sense,” he said.

In 1984, Madeleine Kunin became the fourth woman ever elected governor, and Schaedel was a part of her campaign team.

Schaedel has now run about 70 trib- ute runs and actually just completed a race on Sunday.

The mantra “then walk” began Schaedel’s passion to run. He recalls his friend Carol giving him the idea.

“I ran into her and got coffee,” Schaedel said, “I knew she had been battling some medical issue. She talked about how she just did a run, a half marathon.

“I told her that I had always want- ed to do one but was scared that I’d have to walk. She turned to me and

[starts laughing] with disgust and says ‘Then walk! My husband does it all the time!’”

Schaedel began training for his first-ever run when COVID-19 hit.

“I thought, I’m doing it,” Schaedel said, “So, I called the organizer and asked if I could still run it on my treadmill, and he said yes. And I did not stop, I was tired, but I thought of [Carol].’”

Finding inspiration to start something new is difficult, but people like Schaedel prove that no matter your age or the time and place, you can do anything with enough passion and determination.