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12/12/12 - A reason to run

Alexandria area running enthusiasts checked their watches at the start of their 12K run beginning at Big Ole Central Park on Wednesday. The run began at 12 minutes and 12 seconds after 12 noon. (Photo by Lowell Anderson)

December 12, 2012 wasn't just your run-of-the-mill Wednesday.

It was 12/12/12 - reason enough for a group of local running enthusiasts to organize a special event.

Fourteen members of the Alexandria Runners of Unusual Speed (ROUS), two more than expected, gathered for a race at Big Ole Central Park.

They took off at 12 minutes and 12 seconds after 12 noon, duplicating a feat they staged on November 11, 2011 when their start time was a bit later, 11 seconds after 11:11 at night.

ROUS is comprised of runners from all levels, from once-a-year 5K participants to hardcore marathoners and Ironmen.

"Anyone and everyone is welcome and we are always hoping for more and more runners to show up on our Saturday morning group runs," noted Brett Larson, ROUS member. "It's all about staying active and healthy while encouraging each other to succeed in running and in life."

Those who are interested in ROUS can e-mail or check the group's Facebook page, "Alexandria MN Runners Of Unusual Speed." Information about the group's weekly group runs, local races and carpooling options are posted there.

The group will have to wait awhile for the calendar to align in such perfect symmetry again.

Wednesday was the last triple-number day of the century. The next one won't roll along until January 1, 2101, or 1/1/1.

But if you're looking for cool, unusual dates, you haven't run out of luck yet. There is November 12, 2013 - 11/12/13.

And, oh, the distance the ROUS group covered on 12/12/12? Twelve kilometers, of course.

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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