Come Saturday, the streets of downtown Davenport will be filled with runners pushing themselves up and then down the Brady Street Hill — perhaps to exhaustion — in the 45th annual Quad-City Times Bix 7.
But what happens to your body when you run? What kind of forces act on you? How's running different from walking?
We asked Candi Gardner, Genesis Health System orthopedic clinical specialist and teacher of running classes and seminars, for answers.
"What we've found in research of the body when we run, there are a lot of forces that go through the body and our bodies are really good at adapting to stress and force as long as overload doesn't occur," Gardner said.
Overload happens when a runner runs too fast or has strength or range of motion deficits. Poor running mechanics can also cause a body to start to compensate.
Ideally, runners need to keep their bodies symmetrical for the period of time they're running.
Forces that act on the body include ground-reaction forces, like when your foot hits the ground. "Peak ground reaction forces can increase up to three times our body weight when we run, and that's why it's essential to maintain current running form and have the correct strength and mobility so that the joints and muscles can adapt to those increased reaction forces," Gardner said.
Overstriding can increase the level of force placed on the body while running. Gardner said hitting with a heel out in front in relation to their center of mass can cause a peak breaking force, which stresses the body, too. "So we talk a lot about hitting on the mid foot, hitting close to that center of mass so that we help dissipate those breaking forces and those ground reaction forces," she said. Increasing the cadence count is good; a slower cadence count of getting the foot off the ground has a higher injury rate because your body doesn't dissipate those forces quick enough.
While running uphill may be tough, Gardner says it's actually easier on the body than running downhill. "What we find is running uphill is going to stress your cardiovascular system and it's going to stress the muscle strength itself, but it actually facilitates more of that mid-foot strike," she said. It's hard to over stride while running uphill.
When running downhill, it becomes easier for runners to get into peak breaking forces based on where the foot lands. Running down Brady Street Hill in particular becomes more difficult as running mechanics break down as the runner tires out. "The key muscles that are responsible for controlling the pelvis, for controlling the knee alignment are very fatigued by that point," Gardner said. "That can put a lot of stress on the body."
Walking differs from running in that there's less of a "float phase" where one foot is off the ground. That way, the body only has to absorb one times the amount of body weight. Gardner said with running, there's an increased float phase with more single-leg stance time and more body weight absorbed.
How does running differ from other activities like weight lifting? "True lifting," including leg day, involves doing everything with two legs where running is a single-leg activity over time. "So it challenges the body more from a control perspective to make sure they have that true dynamic stability so that they're not introducing out of place motions," Gardner said.
And don't forget the arms. Gardner says they're essential to good mechanics; arms should be light and tight and symmetrical rather than crossing the body. Crossing the body causes out-of-plane movements down the chain, causing the lower extremities to move into planes they're not supposed to.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Retired Davenport Police Captain David Struckman
I have many (Quad-City Times Bix 7 memories) over the years, but this is one of the most unique.
It was about 12:30 a.m. (early Saturday morning of the Bix run) and I was heading home from working security at the Bix Fest in downtown Davenport.
I was in charge of the Davenport Police Department's Traffic Operations and all of the police assignments and duties for the Bix run and related events, and had to return duty at 5 a.m. to oversee the preparations for the event.
I was just leaving the downtown area when the police dispatcher contacted me and advised me that there was a major water leak in the 800 block of Brady Street (on the Bix route).
At the location, the water was gushing from the cracks and holes in the roadway surface. We contacted the American Water Company and the Davenport Public Works Department and got an immediate response of personnel and equipment from both.
I called race director Ed Froehlich and explained the situation and the ramifications concerning the race route. His response, "Dave, just get it fixed."
And fix it they did; the water company located the leak, isolated it, dug up the pavement and then replaced the broken pipe. The leak was repaired and the surrounding soil and filler replaced.
The City of Davenport Public Works crew then resurfaced the hole with its hot asphalt machine. This was all done within a few short hours.
So when the race began, most of the participants never knew the "emergency" that had taken place and the extraordinary efforts of the Water Company and the City Public Works that made that problem just a visible new black asphalt patch in the middle of the race route.
Captain David Struckman (retired)
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Joyce Hamlin
My husband, Duane Hamlin, was a police officer for 32 years. He was 25 when he joined, and has now been retired for 20 years.
He was in the traffic department his whole career. After being in the motorcycle unit, he was in accident investigation.
For the first Bix race, there were four police motorcycles monitoring the race, Duane Hamlin, Franklin Neilson, James VanFossen and Edward Heber. The first race only had 19 runners, all from the Corn Belt Running Club.
The last few years at the Bix, Duane's job has been at the turnaround, a block or so away to stop traffic, so he didn't see the race. The neighbors were terrific, they brought him drinks and food.
The four police officers enjoyed their job at the Bix and many other parades and walk-a-thons.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Jeff Bassman
My favorite Bix memories? All of them! The Bix is not just an event, it is an annual holiday!
I have been involved as volunteer chairman with the Bix 7 for so many years, almost 40 years, obviously for the amazing 7 mile Race itself, but it is much more than that.
The Bix 7 Race is not just a race, it is the Quad Cities. It is Ed Froehlich, it is Ellen Hermiston! The Bix 7 Race is the community and people all coming together for an event; as a reunion of friends and family, locally, country wide and internationally...no matter what.
The race is a commitment to excellence- whether it is as an organizer, volunteer, walker, runner, law enforcer, fire and first aid responders, medical and much more.
The Bix 7 is a source of pride for all of us, and to be part of this special race--as a participant and as an organizer--cannot ever be replaced, the memories and the relationships will survive the passage of time and I am so proud to say Bix 7 whenever and wherever I am!
There are so many "behind the scenes" managerial functions that are so important to the success of the race. Ed is the face of the race, the go-to person, the public relations spokesman, the person who recruits and interacts with the sponsors, the committee chairmen, runners and walkers from all corners of the world.
He deals with the troubleshooting, he works with the city, he directs and delegates all year long, not just for a couple months prior to the race. Ed's personality, drive and compassion for the race, priceless!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Tammy Nicholson
My late husband's band Funktastic 5 playing on top of Brady Street hill for more than the past 10 years! I got to see my favorite band and guitar player Nate Nicholson entertaining thousands of people over the years!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Mike and Pat Lee
We have been with the Bix 7 since 1979 — 40 years of fun, friends, teamwork, new ideas and immeasurable success in so many different ways. Such a privilege to have worked with Ed (retiring race director Froehlich) through the lifetime of the Bix 7. Bix 7 is so much more than a race. We would not miss it.
The best part of the Bix 7 has to be the friendships formed over 40 years. So many of us started in the beginning and have kept coming back over the years.
Ed is a world class visionary and inspired leader. More importantly he is a nice guy who looks out for everyone.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Kyle Gansen
The Bix has a wealth of tradition like no other race I've ever done, and I'm grateful a college friend from Bettendorf sold me on doing the race for the first time two years ago.
My favorite memory was from my second go at the race last year. Going down the Brady Street hill I remembered passing a lady with a little grey in her hair and thinking to myself, "how the heck did she manage to keep this pace?"
Lo and behold, I crossed the finish line with her one second behind me as it was announced "and now we have Joan Benoit Samuelson coming into the finish." That blew my mind.
I just finished with one of America's greatest runners and didn't even know it. This race is special, and greats like Benoit Samuelson know that just like any other runner doing the race.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Kris Carroll
My father was born and raised in Davenport. His brother and his family have lived there all of their lives. My dad started running in his 40's, and the Bix has always been his favorite. I think this year is his 30th year running the Bix. I have only run it six or so times, but each time I have run it with him, and I have the best memories.
Seeing my family, running the hilly course in the usually oppressive heat, and staying the rest of the day to enjoy a well-earned Bloody Mary and a few beers while listening to my dad and my uncle reminisce about their days in high school, attending St. Ambrose, their car clubs, and stories about my grandparents.
This past March my Dad was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. Despite being hospitalized twice in the last couple weeks, he's still training! He knows he can't run the 7-mile course, but he is doing the Quick Bix.
My brother lives in Utah and I live in Massachusetts. We are both coming in and will be proudly walking with him, and who knows, maybe even racing a bit.
He taught us to be runners. He was the 27th U.S. person to run marathons on all seven continents. He took my brother to Antarctica for his first marathon, and took me to Spain for my first. As a family trip, he took us to Madagascar for the most unique and beautiful marathon--which I ended up winning for the women's!
My dad is the most amazing person, and the strongest person I know. A couple weeks ago, he was very weak due to the immunotherapy treatments. It's the first time he's ever been negative. He said that my brother Keith and I would have to push him in a wheelchair in order for him to "run" the Bix.
Today he proudly walked two miles. I'm grateful to run another Bix with him, and that this race is giving him the motivation to keep going and fight to overcome cancer!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Steve Hawtrey
I was almost to the turnaround and the crowd really piped up. I wasn't sure of what they were so excited about, but I used it as a boost to my mental game.
I soon discovered they were yelling "Bill, Bill!" as Bill Rodgers passed me. I tried to hang with Bill for about a quarter mile, the whole time I pretended my name was Bill to dream that the crowd was cheering for me and to keep pushing.
Eventually Bill dropped me and it was back to being me, but it was fun pretending to be special for a while. Heck any year running Bix 7 is special just some years are a better story.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Erin Ekstedt
This year, I will have participated in the Quad City Times Bix 7 10 times. It became a tradition for my best friend and I when we signed up for our first run at 15 years old.
Although my friend and I are not able to see each other as often as we used to, we still get together every summer for the Bix. We have so many wonderful memories (including the Popsicles and water slide!), but I think my favorite would have to be year 2012 when we were both trying to beat our personal records for the 7-mile race.
Around the one-mile mark my stomach became upset so I pulled off to the side of the road and told my friend to go on without me. I fell on my hands and knees and got sick right there (sorry for whoever was standing near me).
I was so mad at myself as I thought about how slow my finish time would be. Then the song, “Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes came in through my earbuds and I thought “I can do this!” I got up and joined the rest of the runners and did not stop until I crossed the finish line 6 miles later in record time.
I am not a natural runner, but I was so proud of myself in that moment. The Quad-City Times Bix 7 is one of my favorite events. I love the atmosphere, how it brings people together, and how it makes one believe he or she can do anything.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Kelly Devine
I have so many memories of the Quad-City Times Bix 7 race, it’s impossible to pinpoint one of them. My most memorable was my first, I was just going into second grade when it became a tradition for my family to travel there every summer to run the Bix.
It was our big vacation every year thanks to Marathon Sportswear printing the shirts for the race. Our family has been there over 25 times at least and are some of my best childhood memories.
From driving last-minute shirts out to the race with my grandpa, to staying in a hotel room with no air conditioning or door knob, to meeting Joan (Benoit Samuelson) and Bill (Rodgers) and watching some of the greatest runners of all time race.
Congrats and a big shout out to Ed (Race Director Ed Froehlich) and his wife and team. I am now a race director and director of a running club and I owe it to my start at Bix and to my dad for forcing me and my sister to run seven miles every summer.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Hannah Barney, Jenny Millard and Ryan Tilus
Bix weekend is my favorite weekend of the year. The race, the festival, the energy of the Q-C.
Last year (2018) was my fifth time running the Bix and I was determined to finally complete it in an under an hour. All the practice runs and extra training with my Kosama running group finally paid off, I got my PR for the Bix and just barely made it under an hour at 58:49!
I could hardly believe it through all my sweat but it was definitely one of the best moments of my life. Can't wait for the 45th Bix!
I was 2 weeks post knee surgery, seconds from the finish line and I dropped to the ground, medics and emergency crew (four men) came and tried to nourish me and asked what I wanted to do. I quickly replied, "well by golly I got this far carry me to the finish line." Epic great ending to the finish line.
A couple of years ago at the Bix, I was probably only a few minutes into the start of the race making the long climb up Brady Street for the first mile, and overheard two guys talking to each other in between their huffing and puffing when I heard one of them say to the other, “Crap, we should’ve trained more for this!”
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Terry Masek
My most memorable experience in 36 years of running the Bix Road Race occurred in one of the Bix at 6 practice runs.
I had arrived late and was running to catch up with the rest of the group, when another runner who had also arrived late moved into a position beside me. That runner was none other than Bill Rodgers.
We ran up the Brady Street hill together discussing the plantar fasciitis that we were both suffering with at the time. During our conversation, I was able to thank Bill for his many years of participation in our race and I was also able to thank him for being an inspiration and role model for countless numbers of young local runners.
I stayed with Bill until we made the turn at Kirkwood and then I was unable to keep up and Bill ran on ahead of me. I've enjoyed a lot of pleasant memories in my years of running the Bix, but none can top the time I ran side-by-side with a legend like Bill Rodgers.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Jim Case
This year I will run my 33rd Bix 7! One year, I had a much different experience. As I trained at the Bix at 6, McClellan Hill took its toll. A stress fracture in my foot had occurred. In pain, I hobbled back to the starting line.
It was my wife’s first year training for the Bix, and I wondered if she would continue without my support, but she did. I wanted to participate even though I couldn’t run that year. The company I work for sponsored a boom lift for that year’s race, and I was honored to be up in that boom lift at the top of Brady Street.
I will never forget the fulfillment I had watching the race from above! The faces and sweat of so many people with the determination to conquer that tough 7 mile course.My greatest joy came when my wife ran beneath me with a smile and wave.
I could see and sense the adrenaline rush she was feeling. She had trained well, and was heading for the finish line! Nothing could stop her now. Yes, perhaps the race I didn’t run will be the one I remember most.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Dale Martin
In 1980 I was riding the running boom of the 70s. An Olympic star was coming to the Q-C to run the Bix. I was, at the time really in to making Super 8mm movies and had a really good Canon camera that could film in slow motion.
I felt it would really be fun to capture Bill Rodgers form in slo-mo so I positioned myself in the middle of the course and filmed Mr. Rodgers. Later, my good friend Larry Langley, an avid runner and member of the Cornbelt Running Club, had a viewing party for my film and his brothers film which was taken at the Start/ Finish line.
After watching both I had the idea to edit the two films together. After editing, I put it to music (Tomita's Mars from Holst Planets). The resulting film was eventually shown to Race Director Ed Froehlich. He asked me to show it at the Pre-Race party and after that showing Bill Rodgers came to me and said he was quite impressed.
Ed asked me to become a race committee member and to create subsequent films (there was no TV coverage or video cameras then).
For 8 years I stationed friends with cameras around the course with borrowed Super 8 cameras and filmed the races, edited the footage, put it to music, and showed the film to the Running Club at meetings and Bix pre-race events.
This was a memorable time of my life and I really enjoyed these years of involvement.
Recently, I had that first film transferred to digital and am in the process of trying to recreate the film/music. This year my daughter and son in law will run their first Bix. Thanks Ed!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Kristi Bedell-Stahl
My first memory of the Bix 7 was in 1982. I was bringing my son home from Camp Abe Lincoln and we were just in time to see the leaders coming down Brady. So exciting! I knew I wanted to be involved.
The next year I volunteered and ran the race. A neighbor, Ted Bleasing, recruited us and many other neighbors to help with the Finish Line Set-Up.
At that time we set up chutes with stanchions, rope and snow fence. The stanchions were hauled on a flatbed by Allen Harris and were pulled off as the flatbed went down the middle of the street. Our stanchions were showing wear.
We gathered with our families in Joe Kussatz's garage and paid our kids to help build stanchions. My first time playing with concrete. I think we paid the kids a quarter for each stanchion.
Thus began years of working with Ed, Ellen and the Bix. We were one big volunteer family. The Bix is a community affair that is orchestrated by Ed and Ellen.
All those children that made stanchions have run the race, volunteered and some are now Bix 7 chairmen. Thanks Ellen and Ed for 40 years of hard work and dedication. And "Here's to Sandy!"
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Steven Brown
One or more of my family has virtually always run the Bix. My dad did throughout my childhood and my brother, sister, and I have ever since.
A few years ago, the entire family ran and completed the Bix 7 in the same year, even mom. The Bix is always a family event for us, and always will be.
My siblings and I compete each year against each other, with pride on the line. The smack talk may come out all year long, but we all know at the end of July, Bix 7 Race morning will prove who trained the hardest!
This year, we will even have "loser's trophies" just to rub it in. There is no other race like the Bix with the streets lined with spectators, bands, people in costume, food, water, ice.
It's really the spectators and music that keep you going sometimes on those long stretches up Kirkwood Blvd.
The sibling rivalry definitely pushes us to some better finish times as well, as we've been as close as 30 seconds apart before! I am very much looking forward to another year of running, celebrating, and of course, family competition!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: John Gardner
Tradition has it the newspaper publisher has the honor of starting the Quad- City Times Bix 7 race. So it was that in the early 1980s I was handed the starting pistol by Race Director Ed Froehlich as thousands of runners and walkers were poised to head up Brady Street hill.
"Don't practice," Ed said as the throng strained to start. At the appointed time, I fired the gun. It was the first time in my career that that many people headed off in the same direction at my command. Talk about a power trip.
As I returned the pistol, Ed commanded "next year, get off this platform and run." And so I did, both the following year and almost every year since.
Each time I have been awed by the enthusiasm and skills Ed brings to this event. It is hard to imagine the many details involved. Ed handles them all with great grace and style.
I was particularly impressed by the partnership worked out between Ed and Dan Hayes, former editor of the Quad-City Times, and the Times' point person for many years as they traded ideas to build the race. Thanks to the two of them, the race became the world class running event it is.
And thanks to Ed's early command, I continue to run — or as close to running as someone of a certain age can do. I am grateful to him for the great gift of good health even as I huff and puff through one more training session.
So thanks and congratulations, Ed, on 40 spectacular years. And hats off to the wonderful support your wonderful wife has provided.
Now get out there and run.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Michelle Bishop
Bix is a long time family tradition. I started going to watch the race in the early 80’s to watch my brother run. I went with my mom and we had to be on the hill at 6 a.m. to get our spot. That is still true today.
My brother no longer runs but my son does. We are still on the hill art 6 a.m. and sit in the same spot every year. Friends know where we are and will run up the hill to warm up and stop to say “hi."
These are often friends that used to run with my brother back in high school. It is wonderful to see them and catch up for a minute.
When we first started coming to the Bix, we would go to the street fest on Friday and the race on Saturday. It have evolved into a weekend getaway for us even though we live locally.
We stay at the Radisson all weekend and take in everything Bix. Friends and family know we are there and often stop by the hotel to cool off and catch up.
We lost my mom a couple of years ago but she is always with us especially on Bix weekend. Her birthday was July 29th and she often joked that it was nice of Davenport to throw this big party for her every year.
Bix is a special time of year for my entire family and it will continue to be a family tradition for many years to come.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Phil and Eloise Caldwell, Lori Roth, and Salvador Lopez
Phil and Eloise Caldwell
Ed has always shown his appreciation to those who have stayed with him year after year. This is no small measure of his success.
The Bix races are a true community event. By volunteering, we felt we aided our area and supported the local and national road racing initiative.
Ed Froehlich turned a small local race into a set of nationally recognized events. He was a race director who provided an example of excellence for his several thousand volunteers. It was a pleasure to volunteer.
I worked at the first Bix. I held one side of the victory rope. There were 7 runners. It started growing the next year.
During my younger days, I can say and will always remember, that I had 10 PRs back to back, 10 years in a row running the Bix race. At 67, I still run the Bix if I’m healthy and have no injuries that weekend.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Carrie Barker
I ran my first Bix in 1980 at the age of 10, before there was a Kid's Bix or a Quick Bix, so everyone ran the same seven miles. There were only about 800 people who ran that year, and it was nice and cool, with a light rain.
My grandmother, Martha Barker, was worried about me running the race, though my father and uncle, Jack and Bill Barker, were both running as well.
My grandmother decided to make sure that I was OK along the race course, and parked her green Plymouth Fury right on the race course at the corner of Kirkwood and Jersey Ridge (you could do that then!), so she could make sure I was okay on the way out and the way back.
I have now run the Bix 38 times, and every time I run past that corner, I can see her standing quietly in her raincoat and plastic hair bonnet, looking out for me and making sure I was safe.
She passed away in 1992, my dad in 2001 and my uncle just recently, but the race always reminds me of all of them.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Gary and Melissa Porter
So many memories over the years, this will be our 34th Bix7. It should have been our 35th straight, but that's another story!
We obviously have t-shirt overload after 40 years of running, so had a quilt made after 30 years. We were on the front page of the Q-C Times that year. Thanks for the memories and congrats to Ed!
We love catching up with Joan, Bill and now Meb every year at the Expo. My husband still tells people that he ran alongside Joan for a few minutes during a BIX long ago. Pretty impressive until he finishes the story that she was very pregnant with her daughter, then she took off!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Brian Donaway, Brian McClellan, Judie Gulley and Charles Thie
Going up Brady Street hill 27 straight years and looking at all the people ahead of me. Gives me thrills every year!
In 2005, my four brothers and I ran the Bix for the first time together. It meant a lot to us getting the whole crew together and what better way than to run the Bix. The Bix will always hold a special place in our hearts.
My 92-year-old mom was at my apartment on Bix morning. As I crossed the finish line, an announcer grabbed me and wanted to interview me to kill time while the Iowa governor finished. I said sure, if I can say hi to my mom. At the end of the interview, I said hi mom, and she saw me on television. It was awesome!
Meeting Marilyn Monroe impersonators along the Bix 7 route.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Pat Moss
My family and I were slogging back to our vehicles after the race party. I was leading the group, with a multitude of slackers behind me. My only focus was to get to the Court House parking lot to give my poor feet a rest.
I was almost to the viaduct when I turned around to see where the rest of the group was walking. I saw my son and Meb Keflezighi standing under the bridge for a photo. To this day I don"t know where Meb came from, but I do know that you can happen upon greatness on the streets of Davenport.
In 2010, my son and his family traveled from Minnesota to run the Bix. They arrived late so we agreed to meet "under the pines".
I was enjoying my walk when I noticed a person wearing all white with a bandage wrapped around his head with blood dripping down to his face. He had an authentic medical device attached to his leg with gauze wrapped around his arms. He kept looking at me and eventually walked beside me.
At that point I realized that this white blob was my son. But the only thing I could think about was how unfortunate it would be if he encountered someone with a medical emergency and he would have to convince them that his day job is emergency medicine doctor for real. "Yeah, sure, um hm. No thanks." I never forgot the Bix race where the doctor played the patient.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Elena Davis, Lora Zalesny, Marianne Schroeder and Kimberly Kuehl
My first Bix race in 2013 I had just made it up the hill and started walking when another runner came up and said don’t quit keep going! I was able to run the entire race after that!
I loved running my first Bix in 2017 with my high school cross country team. Going down the slip n’ slide made the race super fun as well as the positive energy! It was definitely worth traveling out of state for.
I started running in about 1979. I had worked my way up to running 4 miles when someone asked me "Are you going to run the Bix?" My answer was "What is the Bix?" I had no clue that people could actually run 7 whole miles! The following year, I ran my first Bix and I haven't stopped since. This will be my 39th Bix 7 in a row and I have no plans at age 72 to stop my long string of runs! I can't even imagine NOT running it!
2017, the last year of the big slide. We never did it. Maybe a little chicken? Yep! But, this was the last year we ran past it. We kept going. Are we going to turn around? Yes or no! We needed to make up our minds! One mile later, we turned around! Yep. These old gals are going to do it. We did it! And boy was it fun!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Stephanie Sayles, Gretchen Carruthers, Cory Lenger, and Jim Swales
For 25 years, my dad and I have made the long climb up Brady Street hill together. Our journey started in 1976 as we watched the runners go by, itching to get onto the course ourselves.
A few years later, I ran my first Bix7. My dad joined me in 1991 after two hip replacements, and we have been participating in nearly every one since then.
This year he turns 85 and has decided to hang up his walking shoes to watch me complete my 35th Bix7. If I am so fortunate to participate until I am 85, I will have completed 60 Bix7 races. Thank you, Dad, for all the memories and support.
The Bix is a family tradition. One year in the early 80’s they held a poster contest so my mom and I came up with a clever saying and I wore the “smile” at the top of Brady Street Hill. My brother, sister and I are the ones running it now and I still hear it in my head as I run the course. Smile after every mile!
Elvis first Bix was 1995. Group shot from 2003 (red suit era) . Left to right: Marty L., Cory L., Dave L., Dale D. and Scott C. Fantastic time every year. Unfortunately, Marty passed away in 2015. He was a great man and is always with us in our hearts.
This will be my 37th Bix in a row. I don't recall how many times God Bless the USA has been sung but it always brings tears to my eyes.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Haily Neels, Adrea Hensel Beatty, Karen Price and Susan Bitterman
My grandpa has run almost every single Bix. He has grit like no one else! But these past couple years, he slows his pace in order to run alongside me. Beginning at the end of our first Bix together, we always hold hands as we cross the finish line. I love my grandpa, and our road race tradition!
Adrea Hensel Beatty
My favorite Bix memory is my very first. I trained and ran with my dad -- it was the first big race either of us had done. We did every Bix at 6 (because popsicles). I fell in love with the race and have run it every year since. This year will be my fifteenth Bix, and I can hardly wait. And I'm still here for the popsicles.
Meeting Joni Benoit in 2007 and getting my picture taken with her!
Running with my son in 2007 and 2008 and coming close to beating him in 2007 when he was a student at Palmer!
My favorite memory is the crowds of runners, onlookers cheering you on with celebrity appearances present and past. Nothing beats the Bix!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Amanda Monette
Bix weekend is the weekend we look forward to all year long. Four years ago for my mom and I's 10th Bix, I decided to surprise her. There is a group of us who always make a weekend out of the Bix so I had shirts made for us all with past pictures from Bix weekend and the shirts all read Team Jane!
I had an extra shirt made for my mom and I had it signed by family and friends prior to the Bix. The best part of this is I had my Grandmother (my mom's mom) sign the shirt, my Grandmother passed about a month before the Bix.
We all got dressed in our shirts and when she walked in the door to see us all before the race she was surprised! Then I gave her the shirt, not a dry eye in the room!
Typically the moms walk the Quick Bix and the kids run the Bix, well we all walked with her that year. It was one of the best times we have ever had! We will never miss a Bix weekend!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Donald Hazen
My favorite Bix memory has to be the sight of my daughter, Aubri flying down Brady Street hill to this finish line at last year’s Bix. You see, Aubri is my hero. Whatever obstacles life puts in front of her, she pushes through and becomes stronger. There was a time that I thought I would never see her run again.
Aubri has always been a good athlete. She played every sport she could find. She fell in love with lacrosse in high school and excelled. She was named the Outstanding Female Athlete her senior year, and earned a scholarship to play at Indiana Tech. in Fort Wayne.
At Tech, her teams finished in the top 5 nationally all four years. After her sophomore year, Aubri suddenly could not run more than 2 blocks. She would be out of breath, and had irregular and painful heart beats. This was the girl who ran like a horse.
After 7 cardiologists, we were able to find Dr. John Blair at the University of Chicago Hospital. He was the first to pinpoint her condition, and Aubri had heart surgery a few weeks later. We were hoping for a normal quality of life, but Aubri wanted to return to lacrosse.
After a great deal of hard work, she returned to the team in time for her junior season. She led her team to 3rd place nationally. At her end of her senior season, Aubri was named to the National All-Academic team, and graduated 1st in her class at Tech.
The girl who was told may never run again, conquered the Bix and now many other races. She has inspired me to return to the Bix after an almost 30 year hiatus. My patients are even sponsoring me. We are using the donations to help those less fortunate families in our practice.
After every one of her games, win or lose, Aubri would run across the field and jump into my arms. I am looking forward to this embrace at the finish line. I am using this thought to get me through all of those hills of the Bix.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Sally Green
My father was an early member of the Cornbelt Running Club. At 47, he participated in the first Bix when the route came up the hill on Perry Street. There were less than one hundred participants that year.
My mom was not a runner, but she was a world class cheerleader. On that morning, she sat at the top of the hill at Perry and 14th street in a lawn chair all by herself to watch the race at what, we all learned over the years, were two points on the route where encouragement was key.
Passers by in the neighborhood were confused about what she was doing there and when asked numerous times, though no one knew what she was talking about, she was happy and proud to report that she was watching the Bix race.
Over the years my dad consistently entered the race and my sisters and our families have and continue to enjoy this world class event. Though my parents are no longer with us, it is always a distinct thrill for me as a participant, now in the walker group, to look up as we approach the starting line and feast my eyes on what Dad described as “a mass of humanity” bobbing and weaving as they climb their way up out of the river valley on that magnificent one mile hill.
Of course, those years that I am a cheerleader near the church at 14th and Brady, lined two and three deep with the babies and the donut eating music lovers, I stretch my neck to behold the leaders from the other direction as they come up over the crest of the hill on Brady Street, barreling toward the rigorous course with palpable determination, and I am overcome with gratitude for the tradition my parents started 45 yrs ago.
To say the Quad-Cities benefits from the Bix Race is an understatement. There is a collective effervescence that pervades explanation. Thanks for the memories!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Rick Sundin
This will be my 33rd Bix 7 (same as Joan Samuelson). My only regret is that I am not one of the few runners who have run all of them. How amazing would that be.
Many years are kind of a blue, but one race I remember distinctly is 1992: the year of the great deluge. The only Bix where we had substantial rain during the entire race. No doubt race director Ed Froehlich remembers it well, too. So does KWQC with all of its sensitive electronic equipment.
Literally, seconds before the starting gun was to go off, the sky opened and broke forth with heavy rain; then down came the whole huge balloon archway. It lay right across the starting line, and frantically, people began kicking and pulling at the balloons to clear the starting line for the race.
For us runners, the rain was a dream come true, a great way to stay cool. In fact, we were literally shivering at the post-race party. Many personal records were set that day (thanks to mother nature) including me. We were all like kids again, playing in the water.
Most likely Ed was not quite as amused as we were and was probably glad to have that Bix behind him. Unfortunately, his 1992 bad luck carried into Bix '93, the year of the great flood.
If any of us think that we know what the word "contingency" means, we know nothing like Ed Froehlich knows. A good race director must have Plans "B" and "C" in the hopper if Plan "A" fails.
Ed could (and hopefully will) write a book someday about his double 40-year marriages -- Sandy first, and then his Bix 7.
Thank you, Ed, for passionately giving the Bix 7 and all of us 40 years of outstanding leadership. May you fully enjoy your well-earned retirement.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Allison Witters
It is Bix 2006. I am 12 years old, my best friend is moving away, and have recently discovered my love to run. Having just completed the 6th grade end-of-year track meet together, my life-long friend Molly Roup and I took 1st and 2nd place for girls in the mile run.
I am not sure if we liked the competition or the recognition more, but the race definitely sparked something in both of us that year. To this day we will claim it was the other who got 1st place.
Unfortunately, Molly was moving to Ohio that same summer. I was losing a person who I had spent most of my Iowa years with growing up and trying new things together.
It was a turning point in our transition to middle school years — I remember feeling like we were being forced to grow up now without each other and I struggled to understand what it meant to leave grade school and become a pre-teen with new friends and new experiences.
Jr. Bix (and the Bix festivities as a whole) had always been a central point in our summers growing up together. Molly’s extended family — the whole “Roup Troup” including aunts, uncles, and cousins — would come stay for a weekend full of food, music and, of course, running.
Up until this year, we had only ever run the mile-long Jr. Bix. This year provided a unique opportunity, the last year to run the Jr. Bix as a 12 year old, but determined (by our parents) to officially be old enough for the 7-mile Bix the next morning. So of course, we signed up for both!
It was an exciting Friday evening — eating pasta with the adults as we always did, and then loading into our minivan to go run our fastest mile yet. I was determined to make this, our very last Jr. Bix, a memorable one.
As we arrived and pushed our way to the front of our age group, I just knew we would be the first to cross that finish line.When the gun went off, we were gone!
Charged by the cheers of our moms and every other parent lining the streets, I took off in a dead sprint down 4th street. No more than 100 feet into the race, I felt my ankle crumble beneath my stride. Pain shot through all the way up my leg, radiating from within my right sneaker.
Unable to sprint, I did a hybrid hobble job to the turnaround point & back. Far from first, place, but with Molly still by my side.
Going over the events later that night together with our parents, it was determined I could not run the next day. We iced my swollen foot and discussed our options.
Being an age where I wanted very badly to prove myself in every aspect of life, I flatly refused to opt out of the race. Everyone else except our little brothers would be going. Why couldn’t I at least come and just walk the Quick Bix?
After plenty of back and forth and a lot of strong points being made on both sides, it was agreed that I would be allowed to walk the Jr. Bix with Molly’s paternal uncle, Steven Roup, as long as I took it easy and stayed by his side.
The next day, the whole group woke up as we always did and met for pictures before the race. The mood was always light and fun, but I remember feeling sad in thinking maybe this was my last year to absorb all of this excitement and really take it in.
At the starting line, we divided. Uncle Steve and I near the back with the walkers, Molly with her cousins and everyone else making their way towards the running groups in front. It should be noted that Uncle Steve was probably quadruple my size as a 12 year old, he was well over 6 feet tall with a wingspan like a pterodactyl. Walking with him up the Brady Street hill was like having a bodyguard who was also a steamroller.
We talked and talked on our 2-mile walk. We talked about Molly’s moving away, about how we would both have to adjust to middle school and new friends. We talked about growing up in Iowa —the Roup clan is from Clinton — and all the benefits to life in the Midwest.
We laughed about his stories of being a High School physics teacher and my complete and total disgust for all 6th grade boys. As we crossed the finish line and headed toward the beer tent (for Uncle Steve) and the Whitey’s Popsicle truck (for me), I realized that my ankle had not hurt the entire walk. More than that, my spirits were lifted.
Uncle Steve and talked me through some of my biggest preteen problems and concerns that summer, he had shared stories of his own. There was so much to look forward to, and so many people I was so lucky to know.
My injured foot and my bad race the day before already seemed like ancient history. When all of our friends and family found us after the race, Molly and I embraced, laughed, and cheered to have done our first “real” adult Bix.
We were perfectly perched in the middle of what has continued to be a beautiful friendship, surrounded by friends and family who still to this day, come and spend the warm summer Bix evenings laughing and remembering with us.
No amount of time or distance or sprained ankles can separate that kind of friendship, or both of our families. They are joined together by a race and an experience as vigorous and exiting as the road we run every July along the Mississippi river- in our hearts and in the heartland of America.
Quad City Times Bix 7 Memories: Jennifer Collins, Kathy Nutt and Jane Kramer
Ed Froehlich has been friends with our family for several years. My father, Jerry Collins, was a marathon runner who always did the Bix. He died when I was 16 so I started that year walking the Bix in memory of him.
I always look up at Ed as I attempt Brady Street Hill whether he has known it or not, he has inspired me to start and to finish. This year is my 30th year doing this for my dad.
Every year the Nutt family reunion is held on Bix weekend. We all come together to run and have fun for over 20 years!
It was my daughter and my 10th year of doing the Bix and she surprised me with special T-shirts for all our friends to mark the occasion. She even gave me a special one that my family members had signed.
What was really special is she had my mom sign it and she passed away a month before the Bix. Then three years later I gave my daughter a quilt made from all my Bix T-shirts, plus the special 10 year shirt she had made and gave it to her for her birthday. We have many, many memories but that year was extra special.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Craig Reuter
In the fall of 2014 I was struck by a car going 55 mph on my bicycle and broke my neck, back, scapula, ribs, patella, lost 5 days of memory, and was airlifted to Iowa City.
While I was recovering at Genesis West, my father was by my side and I told him that when I overcame my injuries that he had to promise me to do the Bix 7 (done it many times in the past). He full-heartedly agreed.
I worked harder at physical therapy than anything I've ever done that following year and in 2015 we walked and jogged the race.
It was nowhere close to our best times (dad's health had waned too), but we had a blast and we both fulfilled our promises. In fact, we got recognition in the Quad-City Times as we toasted our accomplishments with Bloody Marys at the turnaround stand. Thanks Terry Reuter!
Quad City Times Bix 7 Memories: Rick Piatt
Going back to the first race ever, my sister DeEtta Montgomery started with a small stand out front of 1415 Brady St. as a water station. It has been going ever since.
I started out helping her not long after the race started to attract so many runners. And it grew into the largest water station on the race course. Being the first and last one, we get hit from both directions by the runners. So I have been involved with the race for well over 30 years, I've lost count.
My wife and I (Lori Piatt) have been chairpersons for close to 20 years now. Our kids have become a part of the race day as well as some of our grandkids. Sadly, due to health issues we have to step down from our positions.
Throughout the years, it has been a part of our families lives! Heck, one year we had a small house fire as I was leaving to come up to the water station.
As I was walking out the door the smoke detector started going off. I couldn't see any flames at first but one room was filed with smoke. As I turned around flames were coming from behind our sectional.
Thank God I was able to put out the fire, threw out the sectional into the front yard and got fans going as my wife came down stairs to see a mess! Said "Sorry honey nut, I'm late!" What a day that was! One we will never forget!
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Jennie Keller McKelvey
The summer of 1981 I returned to Davenport to run Bix. It was the summer before my senior year in high school and I wanted to come back to the race I’d done the previous two summers as a runner for Pleasant Valley.
I’ll never forget seeing Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter racing. I’d just made the left off of Kirkwood Boulevard and they’d just made the left off of Middle Road.
And they were flying! Just about side by side, it was breathtaking to watch them as they passed. I’d not seen that level of running talent in person and it was definitely an inspiring sight to watch two of the best go after it against each other.
Quad-City Times Bix 7 Memories: Angelo Rinchiuso, William McGowan and Fred Rangel
1988, I just passed the mile mark. I was running well top 50 or so when someone caught the back of my right shoe and the shoe flew off like a rubber band in the air. The other runners started to hit it backwards like a volleyball. It took me four minutes to retrieve my shoe and continue the race. I finished 125 that day but do not know where I might have finished.
My First Bix 7 in 1984, invited by Scott Stulir from Western Illinois University. I drove down I-80 from Chicago and saw a sign Bix or Bust At LaSalle, Ill. Got to meet Bix 7 Billy Rodgers and ran 48:28! This will be my 22nd go of it on the streets of Davenport!
Running and meeting my best friends at the Bix7 every year!! One of best runs of the year in Iowa!