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Bix Talk

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Paul Schmidt is a busy guy. The fifty five year old Davenport man is the President of the Cornbelt Running Club. He is responsible for much of the behind the scenes work that goes into putting the Bix 7 Race on.

Saturday's annual race in Davenport attracts some of the best runners in the world. Paul plans to run the race. He did his first Bix in 1986. He was hooked.

Schmidt has a collection of tee shirts, pictures, and other items which showcase  runners and walkers tackling the tough seven mile race course.

Schmidt says the excitement of thousands of people pounding the pavement is thrilling.

He also is very complimentary of Bix Billy, Bill Rodgers, who took the race to a new level back in 1980. At that time, Rodgers was the greatest American runner and one of the best in the world.

Due to an Olympic Boycott that year, Rodgers was approached about running in the Bix. His participation in the Davenport race  made a huge difference. The Bix race went from a few hundred to about fifteen hundred participants in one year.

Schmidt says there's nothing quite like the starter's pistol going off at the beginning of the race. He says the runners and walkers are embarking on a journey and nobody knows what thrilling things are  going to happen.

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