ROCK ISLAND, Il. (KWQC)- As a lifelong runner, Fred Whiteside knows endurance is the key to tackling long distances.
“When I first started at Augustana I was one of the slowest guys on the long run, but when we got on the short stuff I would do very well, but eventually I got to where I could do the long stuff too.”
Whiteside grew up running on the trails at his family farm, where he fostered a passion for setting and achieving goals. When he got older, Whiteside decided to run competitively at Augustana College and after graduating in 1975 was hired on as one of the school’s running coaches.
“At first I didn’t know much at all especially since I was helping the kids that I had run with so it took a while for me to mature into what it took to coach.”
During the 40 years he spent coaching at Augustana, Whiteside grew his passion for running and helped others achieve similar goals that he’d set for himself. However, one day his wife, Cathie, came home offering up a different type of challenge.
“She came home after a meeting one day and said ‘I think I have something that we can do together,’ and I said ‘sure what is it?’ And she said ‘they need a race director for Race for the Cure, are you interested?’ And I said ‘sure we can do that that’d be fun.’
Cathie and Fred Whiteside have served as the Race Directors for Race for the Cure in the Quad Cities for over 20 years. Whiteside said he enjoys hearing the inspiring stories, sharing his passion for running and seeing the community come together for one common goal each year.
“Almost every year sometime during the race you just stop and you get goosebumps and you almost start to cry because you see something that affected you that you knew wouldn’t have happened if those folks hadn’t been at Race for the Cure.”
Whiteside said his goal for next year’s race is to have as many participants as possible. The 2017 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be June 10, 2017. To donate or register head to their website.