No matter the weather, the Quad-City community does a good job of supporting one of its own.
Runners from around the community came out to Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf on Sunday to run the "3 for 30," a three-mile trail run to support the Brett Greenwood Foundation.
The foundation was founded to raise awareness of brain injuries after Greenwood, a former Pleasant Valley and Iowa Hawkeye standout, suffered an anoxic brain injury while working out at Pleasant Valley High School's Spartan Stadium on Sept. 9, 2011.
More than 420 people had registered for the event, and despite the pouring rain and temperatures in the 50s, hundreds of runners and walkers still came out to show their support.
"It shows again how the Quad-City community has supported our family for the last few years," said Lindsey Brezenski, Greenwood's sister and event organizer. "To come out in this weather, when it's pouring down rain … it's amazing."
Greenwood was present at the race but unavailable for comment. Still unable to walk on his own due to the injury, he rode in a John Deere Gator vehicle as runners from around the community showed their support.
"The community is usually really good about coming out and supporting him," said Pleasant Valley head football coach Rusty VanWetzinga. "I think, having Coach Brett as assistant coach and knowing him for a long time, I thought it was important as the head football coach of Pleasant Valley to be out here and support him."
Before the race, which Brezenski hopes to make an annual event, the Greenwood family gave their thanks to the community and to the first responders on the scene of Greenwood's collapse two years ago. Greenwood himself blew the starting horn and watched as hundreds of runners took off down the hilly, and muddy, terrain.
"It's been a while," said Matt Ryder, former teammate of Greenwood's on Pleasant Valley's 2006 Iowa Class 4A state basketball runner-up team. "It was fun though. I've never run this course before, so it was interesting. A little slippery."
Greenwood's recovery over the last two years has been remarkable. Given a negative prognosis by doctors, including being told he would be blind the rest of his life, Greenwood never gave up. He now has 20/20 vision, and is making significant strides toward walking in rehab, Brezenski said.
"He's a terrific young man," VanWetzinga said. "He's a total effort guy, a great student, a great role model. He's tough as nails. Never brought attention upon himself, and in this day and age we get a lot of that. People want to bring attention to themselves. He never did any of that. He always let his actions speak for him, and he's a great guy."
Throughout his athletic career, Greenwood always was described as “tough as nails,” but the community support certainly has given him additional strength.
"I'm just thankful for everyone supporting him," Brezenski said. "I think that showing everyone is still behind him after two years is helping his recovery tremendously.
A day after his 26th birthday, Greenwood sat as friends, former teammates, and other members of the community came up to say hello to him. The support from the community was enough to put a smile on Greenwood's face.
"It's nice to see him out," Ryder said. "He looks great. I'm really glad to see him. I've seen him a couple of times over the last couple of years, but to come out and see all these people supporting him is great."