Marathon runner on Alzheimer's quest stops in Wausau - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marathon runner on Alzheimer's quest stops in Wausau

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- It was David Knapp's first time in Wausau, but it wasn't his first marathon.

The 50-year-old Denver man plans to run in 50 marathons this year, all for the fight against Alzheimer's.

"I lost my mother to Alzheimer's in 2001 and so my goal is to run 50 marathons when I turn 50 this year, through the calendar year, to hopefully raise $50,000 for the Alzheimer's Association," Knapp said.

Saturday's Wausau Marathon was his 35th this year.

"People ask me if I think about my mother, and of course I do when I'm on the course, but honestly, I think more about Dad because of everything he went through," Knapp said.

Knapp and his father shared the burden of caring for his mother.

"With dementia and Alzheimer's, once the patient reaches a certain stage, they really don't know what's going on, but the caregiver has all of the stress," said Knapp.

"It's not a popular disease," said Kathy Massa, Knapp's wife. "People don't know about it. One of our goals is to raise awareness."

Given his history, running just made sense for Knapp.

"When I was 40, I actually ran 40 marathons to celebrate turning 40," he said. "I guess it was my midlife crisis. Instead of buying an expensive car, I ran 40 marathons."

Massa's joined him on the trails of a couple races this year, including Wausau's.

"I have so much more respect for what he does now, just after doing two," she said.

With her help planning his travel and logistics, the couple already has their big finale planned.

"I'm going to finish up on November 30 in Cocoa Beach, Florida because my father's retired down there and I really want him to be at the finish line," Knapp said.

Knapp says he's raised about $18,000.

If you'd like to help him in the fight against Alzheimer's, the donation page can be found at http://act.alz.org/goto/DavidKnapp.
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