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Running for a great cause

Once again, Dead River Company is the official energy partner for the TD Beach to Beacon 10k Road Race. This year, the race benefits the Good Shepherd Food-Bank. For the weeks leading up to the August 1st race, our blog will spotlight Dead River Company employees who are running.

Ever wonder what it’s like to run a marathon? Or ride a bike for 112 miles? How about doing both in the same day? Oh, and throw in a 2.4-mile open water swim for good measure. That’s an Ironman© Triathlon, and Dead River Company’s Kim Weiland knows exactly what it’s like because he did it. At the age of 56.

“I started running cross country in high school,” said Weiland, Dead River Company’s Area Manager in Manchester, New Hampshire. “I ran and competed in races during college and grad school, but just to stay in shape.” The idea of triathlons came from his wife, who in 2006 suggested he take a triathlon-training course at their local gym. “I got hooked!”

After working his way up to a “half-Ironman” in Providence, Rhode Island in the summer of 2010, Weiland made up his mind to go for the full ride the next summer in Lake Placid, New York.

Training for an Ironman is grueling. In addition to his full-time job with Dead River Company, Weiland was putting in 30 to 40 hours a week running, biking, and swimming. “You have to be ready for pain and suffering. That’s just a given,” said Weiland. For the race itself, it was 13 hours, 47 minutes, and 7 seconds of pain and suffering. But also a once-in-a-lifetime sense of accomplishment.

So, can an Ironman find satisfaction in running the 10k (6.2 miles) TD Beach to Beacon? Yes, indeed. In the spring of 2012, Weiland was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which is now in remission. “It’s an auto-immune disorder and inflammation is a problem. My joints just can’t handle long distances anymore. A 10k race is perfect for me—and I love the B2B course.”

Last year was the first time Weiland had run the B2B and, going in, he had a friendly competition with a co-worker who’s a little more than half Weiland’s age. “I beat him! Not by much, but there was definitely a little satisfaction in that. It had been a long haul after my diagnosis and treatment getting myself back in running form.”

Dead River Company’s race sponsorship also resonates with Weiland. He’s been with the company for nearly 25 years and his father also worked for Dead River Company in the forest products division, for 24 years. “As far back as I can remember Dead River has been involved in local communities. I think the company’s commitment to fighting hunger and providing heating assistance is tremendously important. In New Hampshire, where I work, Dead River supports the New Hampshire Food Bank, and I’ve seen the good they do. The Beach to Beacon benefits the Good Shepherd Food-Bank this year, which is great because Dead River Company has a strong commitment to Good Shepherd. I can’t tell you what a good feeling it is to be participating in an event that Dead River Company sponsors, or just to be out and about and have someone say, ‘You’re the guys who donated to our local food bank.’ It certainly makes you feel good.”

That appreciation for community may be another part of the appeal of the TD Beach to Beacon for Weiland. “The turnout and the crowd are phenomenal which makes it a high-energy event.”

Speaking of high energy—this year, when Kim Weiland laces up for the race he’ll be 60 years old. You’ve been warned.