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CLARENCE — Most students would be surprised teachers actually have a life outside of school.
When they see one of their teachers in public at the mall, a restaurant or the movies, it can be one of the most awkward moments for both.
But unless you’re planning on training for and running a marathon any time soon, you probably won’t run into North Cedar’s guidance counselor Troy Bergmann.
Bergmann has worked at North Cedar since 2012. Usually students see him running around the building, trying to take care of things for everyone else or in his office with work piled up to his hair.
His busiest time is ... always.
Bergmann, however, finds time to train for his marathons and half marathons. He ran his first half marathon (13.1 miles) in January of 2008 and his first full marathon (26.2 miles) in 2011.
“There are a lot of reasons I run, but the biggest two are trying to live as long as possible, and the competitive aspect of it,” Bergmann said.
Even knowing he has a slim chance of winning a marathon or half marathon, he enjoys the competition in his age groups. A very dedicated runner, he wishes he would have been more prepared for a full marathon.
“It’s a huge commitment to run a full marathon,” he said. “One that I will admit I took for granted. I finished, but didn’t run near the time I feel I could have. Looking back there was so much that I didn’t know or research, such as refueling early in the race and not waiting until the middle of the race.
“I had heard of ‘the wall’ but didn’t really understand what it was or how my body would react until it happened. ‘The wall’ is literally your body depleting all it’s stored energy to the point your legs won’t move anymore. Well, they move, just not very well. But crossing the finish line has a way of taking away a lot of the pain you feel racing, whether it’s a 5K or a half (marathon).”
Bergmann is none as much for his hair as his workload at North Cedar. He laughed when asked about it affecting his running.
“In the winter I wear a stocking cap so I’m all good there,” he said. “Usually I wear sunglasses that will keep the hair out of my eyes, or I have been known to push up my sun glasses to hold my hair back.”
Bergmann graduated from Clarence-Lowden in 1995, the school’s last graduating class before the merger of Clarence-Lowden and Lincoln Community into North Cedar.
Becky Bergmann, Troys’ mother who also works at North Cedar, said she and her husband, Brian, continually brag about their son and are proud of his choice in wanting to be a school counselor. She sees him daily with students, sitting on the front step chatting, making sure they have someone with whom they can confide.