Running Community Rallies Around Jimmer

Updated: March 07, 2018 05:39 PM

Everyone who knows Jim 'Jimmer' Hagerl, knows he loves to run. "Jim would talk about running, anytime, all the time. And he'd run with anyone, fast or slow. It didn't matter," Jaime Saburn told us. She's one of his good friends.

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During his fight with aggressive brain cancer, the sport became even more of an outlet. He spoke with Chelsie Brown last summer, before Grandma's Marathon. "This has been something that has really helped me stay focused and be goal-oriented," Jim said.

The 40-year-old finished under four hours, and was cheered on by friends all along the way. His wife, Jess, decided to organize friends into surprise cheering stations. "When he came across the finish line, I don't think there was a dry eye," Saburn remembered. 

She met Jim in the Milltown Milers running club. It's that group of close-knit friends that decided to put together a fundraiser for the family. And of course, it revolves around running.

"He's always giving so much to everyone else. And we wanted to give back, to him and Jess," Saburn added.

The Jimmer's Benefit is Saturday, at 10am, at the Rendezvous Bar and Grill in Cloquet. The 5Kish run will take participants by Jim's house, so people can wave. Then there will be a silent auction back at the bar. "We've got a lot of running-themed things, like a Grandma's half marathon, but we also have other things too, like a signed Wild jersey and a signed stick," Saburn said.

It's giving them something to focus on, as they prepare to say goodbye. Jim is now in home hospice.

"It's not the ending any of us would love. But, to watch him fight, has been inspirational. To watch him and Jess go through every day and choose to find joy, to find the good, and to take that away. Instead of just the negative," Saburn said through tears.

Because Jimmer himself made sure he lived his life to the fullest. Which often meant, freedom on his feet. He said back in June, "You get into this flow state. You don't think about anything. You focus on your breathing, your feet hitting the pavement, and it's a beautiful thing. You zone out, and put on the miles."

Saburn said you don't need to run or even walk the 5K to help out. They encourage anyone to stop by and cheer. The Rendezvous is at 1110 Scanlon Way, Cloquet, MN. Again the event is Saturday at 10am. Suggested donation for the fun run is $10.

There's still a GoFundMe page for Jimmer and his wife as well:


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