A runner's life remembered at Forrest's Run in Weston - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

A runner's life remembered at Forrest's Run in Weston

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WESTON (WAOW) -- Family and friends of a young runner are honoring his life with a race.

Fourteen-year-old Forrest Goetsch passed away in 2009 during a D.C. Everest cross country practice.

Saturday, his memory lived on through Forrest's Run, a race that has quickly become a proud Weston tradition.

"The emotions that come with this are really truly recognizing an individual that touched a lot of people," said his father, Steve Goetsch.

Forrest Goetsch lived like any young teenager would.

"We fought and Mom and Dad would get mad," said his brother, Bradley Goetsch. "They would make us hug it out at the end."

Forrest Goetsch was born with a rare facial deformity that required several surgeries before he reached kindergarten.

"He was never fearful of it, knew what he had and it gave him that determination in life," his father said. "A very competitive individual."

Goetsch's competitive streak found a home in the sport of running.

"He was dedicated to it," said Steve Goetsch. "Ran in the morning, ran in the evening. He was very passionate about it."

"He would lap me and my dad all the time and he goes, 'Just keep on going,'" Bradley Goetsch said.

Family members say creating Forrest's Run four years ago was the best way to remember Goetsch.

"This is our way of saying thanks to Forrest for what he's done for us, but also thanks to the community who helped us through one of the most difficult times in our lives," Steve Goetsch said.

Even the race course itself is a tribute.

"The last stretch is all gravel because that's how our driveway is," said Bradley Goetsch.

"He liked to run on the trails, so it felt really nice being able to run where he would've run," said Jonthan Mulder of Weston, a member of the D.C. Everest cross country team.

Mulder says Goetsch is an inspiration to the team.

"We found out about Forrest and learned who he was and what he did and what happened, so every year I come back it means a lot more," he said.

Organizers say about 650 people ran in Saturday's races.

Money raised from Forrest's Run will go toward scholarships for cross country athletes in central Wisconsin.
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