Fitger's 5K Raises $20K For Young Athletes

Updated: 04/19/2014 10:55 PM
Created: 04/19/2014 4:13 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

The Fitger's 5K celebrated 25 years this year and they did it in true Duluth style, with freezing and rainy weather. Record numbers, however, still came out to run, including a lot of kids.

The runners said as long as you kept moving, the 30-degree weather wasn't so bad.

"It's not great but it could be worse. It's not snowing," said Mackenzie Seidelmann of Duluth.

Before the start, runners did their best to keep warm. The course was a bit soggy, but a record 1,755 people finished this year's race. Quite a few of them were young runners.

Veteran racer Kennedy Rude is a cross country runner.

"It's one of my favorite courses. I've never ran on it before but I love hills and loved the course," said the 18-year-old from North Dakota.

Other younger runners were taking on their first race ever. 12-year-old Sierra Hayden was dressed up as the Easter bunny. She had just one word to describe her run.

"Cold!" she said.

The Fitger's 5K, in fact, benefits the young runners racing. Money raised at the 5K goes toward the Young Athletes Foundation.

"It's one of our larger fundraisers, which allows us to have the money to give to organizations for these young kids in many different areas," said board member Bill Bailey.

The foundation helps support sports programs in the Twin Ports. The idea is to keep kids busy and active.

That's something Seidelmann understands as a mom.

"I wanted my kids to join us doing physical activity and he's [her son] just naturally liked running so we've just gone from there," she explained.

13-year-old Mason Stanius has ran three Fitger's 5K races with his mom, Seidelmann.

He now has the running bug, so he has plans to up his mileage.

"Later this year I'll be doing the half marathon with my mom," he said.

The Young Athletes Foundation hopes to raise $20,000 at this year's 5K.

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