Steve Willems — also known as Barney or the Running Man — is a living legend in Door County, and the third annual Barney Fun Run & Walk on April 27 will honor him and his daily route of 3.89 miles. You may also do a 1.84-mile walk.
Willems, a bright and enthusiastic graduate of Gibraltar High School, went on to study at UW-Stout. A car accident during a trip home left him in a coma for six weeks. Though his recovery was miraculous, he sustained severe nerve damage and turned to running as a way to deal with the depression and pain. He has run his route of nearly four miles every day for 40 years and shows no signs of stopping.
Barney is an inspiring part of Sister Bay’s daily landscape when he runs, waves at passing cars and radiates resiliency. And if there is open water – no matter the season – he jumps in!
Check-in (and pre-run Bloody Marys) start at the Sister Bay Bowl at 10 am; the run starts at 11:15 am; and participants may jump off the Sister Bay Marina’s dock after running. Register by April 8 ($25 per adult and $10 for those 12 and younger) to guarantee your T-shirt. All proceeds will be donated to a local charity of Barney’s choice.