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Ready, set, go!

Things are heating up in Alexandria.

The city council approved plans for nine events that will take place in the coming weeks - including five foot races, a triathlon and two new Alexandria Beetles Baseball events.

Here's the rundown:


Lakes Area Recreation (LAR) is planning a series of five running races this summer using the catchy name, "Holy Moly Ole Five." It's the first-ever series of run competitions in Alexandria.

"This will benefit the whole community," said Fritz Bukowski, LAR director. "It will get people off the couch and bring people into the community, too."

All the races will be professionally timed. Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers in eight age divisions. Door prizes will also be given out at the end of each race. Participants will receive a T-shirt at each race if they are pre-registered.

Proceeds from the races will go toward youth programs and scholarships at LAR.

Last year, LAR provided $17,000 in scholarships but scholarship needs have increased 80 percent in the last three years, according to Bukowski.

The LAR hopes to attract 300 elite runners as well as amateurs, families and kids to each race.

The series kicks off on Saturday, May 19 with the Subway Bike and Fitness "Run Ole Run" 5K and 10K. Events start at 8 a.m. at the Big Ole statue on 2nd Avenue. Pre-register by May 14.

The "ORB - 10 Years Running" race is next. It's set for Saturday, June 9 at Voyager Elementary School, starting at 9 a.m. It will include 5K and 10K runs. Pre-register by June 4.

Next up is the Heartland Orthopedic Specialists' "Better Together" 5K and 10K runs on Saturday, July 21. Events start at 8 a.m. at Discovery Middle School. Pre-register by July 16.

The Cornerstone Chiropractic "Go the Distance" event, featuring 5K, 10K and 15K runs, will take place Saturday, August 11. Events start at 8 a.m. at the Big Ole statue. Pre-register by August 6.

Capping off the series is the Bremer Bank "Homecoming Sprint" - a one-mile run - on Saturday, September 22. The race will take place at 5th Avenue and Broadway and finish at Jefferson High School. Pre-register by September 17.

All five events will also offer a 1K Family Walk and Kids Run.

To register, go to or stop in the LAR offices at 720 Fillmore Street, Suite B020. For more information or to volunteer, call (320) 762-2868.


The Alexandria Beetles are planning a "Beer and Brat Fest" on Saturday, May 19 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Knute Nelson Field.

There won't be any baseball played. Instead, tents will be set up in the outfield where the crowd will sample beer, enjoy food, listen to a live band and play in a beanbag tournament.

The event will be restricted to those 21 and older who will pay a fee to enter the field.

The Beetles agreed to pay the city the same fee it pays to use the ballpark for its home games.

Another new Beetles event is a baseball game on Saturday, June 30 featuring the well-known Military All Stars - active and retired armed services baseball players. They'll take on an Alexandria "All Star" team.

The Beetles are working with the Resorters baseball league on filling the local "all star" roster, according to Shawn O'Reilly, Beetles general manager.

The city council also approved two other Beetles' requests - closing Elm Street between 4th and 5th Avenue during the team's 35 home games; and allowing the annual Beetles Parade down Broadway, from 9th to 5th Avenue, on June 3.



The Chain of Lakes Triathlon will take place the morning of Saturday, May 5.

This 15th annual test of athletic endurance includes a 600-yard swim, a 13-mile bike ride and a 2.8-mile run.

About 200 people have signed up already, according to David Molesworth, local coordinator, and organizers are hoping to draw as many as 275 competitors. "This brings a lot of people into town," Molesworth said.

The council gave organizers permission to use a portion of Highways 27 and 29 for the event, which also was approved by the city of Nelson.

The biking portion of the triathlon runs from Highway 29 North from McKay Avenue northward to County Road 73 NE and on Highway 27 East from County Road 3 SE westward back to McKay Avenue. Douglas County Posse members and city police officers will help with traffic control.

The base camp for the event will be Discovery Middle School. The swimming portion will take place in the school's pool.

For more information or to register, go to the website,

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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