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Beaver Mile will go a long way for BSU athletics

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On Sunday community members will be able to help support Bemidji State University's track and field and cross country teams by racing in the first annual Beaver Mile.

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The race will be taking place at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at 15th Street and Beltrami Avenue Northwest, and will finish in the Union Square parking lot. The race is one mile long and is open to all ages.

The idea for the race was initiated by BSU Track and Field coach Craig Hougen and BSU physics professor John Truedson. The race will lead the Bemidji Jaycees Grand Parade, which starts at 1 p.m.

"[It] was suggested to do it in front of the parade, and it seemed to snowball after that," Hougen said.

While only two people have signed up for the race so far, Hougen said there was no pre-registration date, and he's hopeful that the registration numbers will increase on race day.

"I would hope for 100 and say it's successful," he said. "It could skyrocket in the future. That would be a dream come true to see it reach 1,000."

The race costs $20 to enter. Proceeds from the race will help support the BSU track and field and cross country teams.

"This will be some extra dollars for the challenge that was put forth this winter of trying to save the men's track team," Hougen said.

Last winter, the men's track team was put on a one-year reprieve in order to raise $30,000 for the team, he said. The program also had to use roster management to cut the men's team by 30 runners and to raise the women's team by 30 runners.

"If those things are met, then we can keep the men's track team forever," Hougan said.

He also said that there will be a discount available for families on race day registration.

Runners will receive a T-shirt provided by Cantabria Coffee Co. Keg-N-Cork and Bada Bing! will award other prizes. Awards will be presented in the parking lot next to Cantabria Coffee Co.

For more information, contact Hougen at 755-2883 or chougen@bemidjistate.edu.

dlandgrebe@bemidjipioneer.com

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