- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) - He stood in a wooded area outside Pekin in his late brother’s red dress. A neon tutu circled his waist as his knees and ankles throbbed. Blood from his battered and blistered feet seeped through his socks.

After a lengthy glance at the sky, Moline’s Ry Schulz pressed on.

Mile 150 of the Potawatomi Trail Run, near Pekin, was about to be completed. Friends, Ry’s dog, race-pacers and the memory of the big brother he was running in honor of worked as one.

“The importance of doing it in honor of my brother really hit home when a guy recognized Flynn’s red dress, which I was running in,” Ry Schulz, one of life’s good guys, said of the ultra-run he made in memory of his late brother.

Flynn Schulz, a member of the Quad Cities Hash Harriers (who do a red dress run), was a fun-loving, give-you-everything-he-had type. He was a military veteran, who ran and raised thousands of dollars with Team Never Forgotten, a group that supports the Wounded Warrior Project.

He was friend to many and the guy atop every invitation list for when it came to fun and frolic.

Flynn Schulz died Aug. 31, 2013, leaving a huge void in the hearts of many.

“It was a great feeling to have the support I had to finish,” Ry Schulz said. “After I was done, they told me I could run home — that it was only 90 miles. I opted for the truck.”

That he finished the 150-mile side (you can run 100, 150 or 200 miles) of Potawatomi is a huge accomplishment. Ry Schulz covered the 150-mile, trail-heavy loop with water in 51 hours and 30 minutes.

The 31-year-old Moline High School graduate began his journey and tribute to his brother at noon on a Friday, completing the grueling task at 2:30 p.m. two days later.

“I slept one hour and 40 minutes over that span,” said the world-traveler, who has lived in Colorado and California. He has returned to the Quad-Cities to begin a carpentry apprenticeship this summer. “The most I had run before that race was 30 miles. I was thrilled to finish.”

Two weeks before his passing, Flynn Schulz mastered the famous Leadville Trail 100 ultra-marathon, topping the mountains of Colorado in less than 30 hours.

Making it to Leadville with some of his brother’s ashes to spread across the course’s Hope’s Pass is another goal Ry Schulz is chasing.

“My brother ran it at (age) 33, and my goal is to make sure that happens for me,” Ry Schulz said. “I want to take them (ashes) to Hope’s Pass.”

For now, mending is first on Ry Schulz’s list. His feet are battered and two weeks from training. The rest of his body has heeled from the grueling nature of Potawatomi.

“Ice bath, 14 minutes on Sunday,” Ry Schulz said of getting past the soreness of his three-day run. “While my feet get back and I cannot run, I think I will get on the bike. I’m glad I got to do what I did, but there is more out there for me to do, other goals. It’s also good to be home.”

And for a younger brother to appreciate how cool an older brother can be.


Source: Quad Cities Online, https://bit.ly/1zef9m3


Information from: The Dispatch, https://www.qconline.com



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