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Cloquet River Run set for next weekend

The Ninth Annual Cloquet River Run is gearing up for another year of fitness, friendly competition, community and fun. The 5K race — a fundraiser for Churchill Elementary School — has become famous for its challenging finish climb, variety of surfaces and beautiful scenery. The one-mile course meanders through the local neighborhood and is great for participants of all ages to challenge themselves to reach their personal goals.  

“The Cloquet River Run has become a tradition for hundreds of Cloquet residents as well as a multitude of people from surrounding communities and beyond,” said Stef Gunelson, race director. “Many people come out the night before to enjoy an awesome pasta and salad feed put on by the Churchill staff. Our post-race food tent is plentiful and fantastic!  I have been part of the River Run Committee for eight years and we just love this event!”

Awards include engraved medals presented to first, second and third place in each of many age divisions. Also, unique engraved rocks are presented to the overall male and female winners of each race as well as special rocks for the winners of the 12 and under category. Race shirts are long-sleeved performance material.

The Cloquet River Run is organized by the Churchill Partners in Education (PIE) group. Seventy percent of race proceeds go toward health and fitness-related programs and equipment and 30 percent will be used for school technology maintenance. In 2015, items financed with race proceeds included: Gaga pit (a ball game on the playground), healthy snack days, playground balls, Adventures to Fitness for Smartboards, after school enrichment equipment, hand sanitizer cart for lunchroom, health and fitness books for the library, and a contribution to a new wheelchair-accessible swing on the playground.

The weekend festivities begin Friday, Sept. 23, with race registration and packet pickup, along with the pasta and salad feed from 5-7 p.m. at Churchill Elementary in Cloquet. Price for the pasta and salad dinner is $8 for adults and $5 for ages 12 and under. Purchase tickets at the door.

The big event — the Ninth Annual Cloquet River Run — will take place Saturday, Sept. 24, at Churchill Elementary. The one-mile race begins at 9 a.m., 5K race at 9:30 a.m. with the free 6-and-under kids’ races to follow. Registration fees (if paid by Sept. 22) for the 5K race are $15 for 12 and under and $22 for 13 and older. For the one mile, the fees are $10 for 12 and under and $15 for 13 and above. Fees increase after Sept. 22.

To register or learn more, visit You can also find them on Facebook.