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‘I HAVE FINISHED THE RACE’ — Runners pay tribute to former track coach

February 24, 2014

COLUMBIA CITY — “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” — 2 Timothy 4:7-9.

“What a perfect verse for someone who not only loved running, but loved coaching others to be better runners,” said Pastor Dennis Beckner, of the Columbia City Church of the Brethren. “Our race is not done, but perhaps we can make it a better race because of how Tim has impacted our lives.”

Hearld, 43, of Columbia City, died in a snowmobile accident Wednesday in Newberry, Mich., and scores of Columbia City community members mourned the loss this week. Hearld’s body was put to rest Monday evening — but not without one last race.

Hearld was an avid supporter of Indian Springs Middle School and Columbia City High School track and cross country, as both a coach and parent.

Hearld’s funeral Monday afternoon was one of the largest funerals ever hosted at DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, with a procession more than a mile long.

What made Hearld’s procession unique was the group of runners who led him in for the last leg.

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