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Rhinelander natives to run 50-mile ultramarathon to support veterans Submitted: 08/19/2013
RHINELANDER - Two men originally from Rhinelander plan to run 50 miles.

Not in one month.

Not in one week.

But in one day.

It's called an ultramarathon.

"Brett and I knew each other growing up. We went to junior high together, high school together. We played the same sports," says Dave Chrisinger.

But after Dave and Brett Foley graduated high school they took two radically different paths.

"I went to boot camp July 2005 right after my 18th birthday, and I got out August 2010," says Brett Foley.

"It was strange. I was going away to college to play football. He was going to bootcamp. He was going to be a Marine. We were fighting in two wars. It was hard to know where we would be 5 years from now," Dave explains.

They became distant but got back in touch when Brett was home in-between his tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Right before he left for Afghanistan, I think he and I really connected again...but you could sort of feel that Brett was not really there. You know his mind was where he was going. He was going to Afghanistan. It was really bad in 2010 there," adds Dave.

War still weighed heavily on Brett when he returned home.

"You're going 100 miles an hour every day and it's hard to slow that down. The adrenaline and everything that you get used to on a daily basis when you come home you don't have that, and I think a lot of people search for that by doing risky activities or putting their lives in jeopardy and it's not the right way to handle things. And it took me a while to figure that out and learn that," Brett explains.

Brett adjusted back to civilian life.

Dave felt he had to do something to pay back veterans.

He heard about the Mission Continues, a non-profit group that helps veterans transition to civilian life by giving them the chance to work for non-profits.

"He said, 'I wish I would have known about that program when I got out because that would have been something that would have been really good for me," Dave recalls.

"Dave came up with the idea of 'Let's do a run for this cause, The Mission Continues,' and I thought that was a great idea so we just kind of ran with that," Brett says.

And run with it, they did.

Sometimes 20 miles per day to train for a fifty mile ultramarathon coming up in October.

They hope to raise $10,000 for The Mission Continues.

"I've never run a marathon. And this is going to be my first marathon so I thought, 'Why not do an ultra with Dave?'" says Brett.

No matter how tough the fifty miles will be, Brett's faced much worse.

"I look at the things Brett had to go through in Iraq and Afghanistan...People were shooting at him. There were bombs going off...I read a quote once that said, 'The how is easy once you figure out the why.' And both of us know why we're doing this, and so it becomes easier to actually do it," says Dave.

By doing so, they'll help other veterans figure out the "why" in their lives.

The ultramarathon will be October 26th.

It starts at the tip of Door County and ends in Sturgeon Bay.


Story By: Lauren Stephenson

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