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Pumpkin Run and Walk set for Oct. 22

It’s time to lace up your running shoes and register for northern Minnesota’s oldest and largest Halloween-themed race!

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will host the 11th annual Pumpkin Run & Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22. The 5K race will begin and end on the campus at 2101 14th St., Cloquet. The event is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. The entry fee leading up to and on race day is $20 for everyone, with special pre-registration rates for students and individuals if submitted prior to Oct. 17. (Current students get the lowest rate of just $12 if they register before Oct. 17.)

Entry forms are available at area running stores and sporting goods stores, at the college, and on the college website at www.fdltcc.edu. Online registration is available at www.zapevent.com.

“We have always planned the Pumpkin Run as a community event held on our campus,” said Tom Urbanski, director of public information at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. “We purposely keep our registration fees low to encourage participation and physical activity. We see runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, with many college students and area residents, as well as people who travel a long way to get here. It’s a fun theme and has turned into a festive event.”

To celebrate the theme of the race, participants are encouraged, but certainly not required, to wear Halloween costumes or wear orange clothing. Prizes will be given for the best costumes.

The race attracts top-level talent as well as families, recreational runners, and walkers. The course record of 15:13 is held by five-time winner Eric Hartmark, one of Minnesota’s best distance runners and a past qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon event. Although roughly 25 percent of participants are walkers, the race course has a reputation for producing fast times and is certified by the USATF.

The Pumpkin Run’s 5K course is a mix of the campus ring road, County Road 3 (14th Street), and the residential streets of Valley View Drive and Harner Lane. Essentially flat, the course features a fast downhill stretch with a return trip up the same hill. Mile markers will be posted and traffic control safety will be conducted by law enforcement and nursing program students at the college, with assistance from the Cloquet Police Department and neighbors who live along the race route.

In 2015, a record 428 runners and walkers registered for the race.

A Pumpkin Run tradition is awarding medals to the fastest FDLTCC students in the race. In 2015, Ryan Bradley of Duluth won the men’s division in 21:41, and Naomi DeFoe of Cloquet won the women’s division in 28:30.

Every year, several college employees participate in the fun by running or walking. Faculty member Jen MacKay narrowly missed winning the women’s overall title by 11 seconds in 2015, finishing as the second female across the finish line in a time of 22:41.

Every registered finisher will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt and post-race refreshments. Medals will be awarded to the top three overall male and female finishers. Age group awards will be given to the top male and female in each of the following age groups: under 15, 15 19, 20-29, 30 39, 40 49, 50 59, 60-69, and 70-plus.

The event offers indoor facilities and warm gathering areas before and after the race, healthy refreshments, free parking in campus lots, and door prize drawings.

For more information or to get an entry form, visit the college web site at www.fdltcc.edu/campus-life/pumpkin-run-walk/ or call 218-879-0800.

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