Face Of Run The Edge: David Waldorf – “King of the Frostbeards”

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Like many of us, David discovered the love of running well into adulthood. Born, raised, and living in Minnesota, he has transformed from one who detested running in his youth to being known in his community as the guy who runs in ALL conditions. To date, he has completed his 2nd full marathon (with a PR of nearly 27 minutes), is working towards a 6mi/day average running distance, and celebrated his 40th birthday by running the Indy Mini Half Marathon ON his 40th birthday! David has lost inches from his waist and gained a love of challenging himself and pushing his physical fitness to greater heights. We are so proud to call him part of our Run The Edge Family! Here’s his story:

I was a track team member at my high school back in the 90’s, and I HATED long distance runs. Like, I would cheat on our 3 mile warm up runs. I was a hurdler and a high jumper… I didn’t need that endurance! I didn’t lace up shoes to run again until 2001, when I was in the Naval Reserves. I hated those 1.5 mile runs too. I could not understand how my father enjoyed training for, and running, marathons. Suffice to say, I did NOT consider myself a runner.

As time moved on, and I aged, I grew… mostly around the waist line. I had jobs that were either entirely sedentary, or involved hours of time spent in the car. As such, I lived off fast food. And with the stress of the job, I also relaxed at night with more beer than was healthy.

In 2009, I had joined Junior Chamber International (The Jaycees) in Minnesota. I got involved to sell beer, but found an experience I was unprepared for… an organization that challenges individuals to better themselves. I found a passion in helping others improve themselves. In 2016, I was elected to be the JCI Minnesota Individual Development Vice President. I made a decision right then: I needed to get healthier myself, and this was a means to propel me down that road. So I challenged over 1000+ members of JCI Minnesota: “If you want to run a 5k, I will run it with you.”

After about the 3rd race, I realized I needed to train. So I started running once or twice a week. I continued this casual attempt at getting healthy through April 2017… I’d lost some weight… I was smoking and drinking less… Then one day I was at a race event, Run for the Lakes, which was organized by the Brainerd MN Jaycees. It was a fundraising event for local charities, and they put on a 5k, 10k, Half, Full, and Full Relay. I ran the 5k in that year, and my friend Carissa cornered me afterwards and issued a challenge to me:

Carissa: “So, I am the Race Director for 2018, I am challenging you to run something longer than a 5k!”

Me (after thinking for about 30 seconds): “Screw it, go big or go home, I’m going to run the full marathon.” She didn’t believe me. (And who would? It was a hell of a boast!)

Well, on April 28th, 2018, I ran the Run for the Lakes Full Marathon. What I did not expect was that this would LITERALLY change my life. You see, my Mom and Dad came to the Marathon to see me finish. The marathon started off well, but I hit the wall hard at mile 21. I was in tears on and off. A nice fellow marathoner helped pace me for the next 4 miles. At mile 25, my sister was standing by the side of the route and said, “Dad’s waiting for you at the finish line.” I found strength and speed I did not know I had.

It turns out that Carissa had found my parents, and, knowing my father is a past marathoner, had pulled him out into the finisher’s chute to place my finisher’s medal on me. The last 200 meters were a blur of smiling, sprinting, and crying, and I am not ashamed to admit it. And there was Dad, catching me when I stumbled after crossing the finish line.
I’d joined RTY 2018 as a training tool, and a source of accountability. I met some very awesome people through the FB group.  But when I shared this story later that day, the outpouring of love I received was amazing. Since then, I have developed a name for myself in the groups as “That Crazy Minnesotan Who Runs Outside Whatever the Temperature” (or “King of the Frostbeards” by some). What I really found, though, was a family of runners who are so supportive. I’ll continue to participate while RTY exists, because the value to me is priceless.
Thanks for reading this rambling account of how running changed my life.
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