The people of Stacy, North Branch, Harris and Rush City will not have missed the seemingly endless flow of distance runners making their way north on the afternoon and evening of Friday, Aug. 16, as well as the innumerable decorated vans carrying support crews and runners waiting their turn.
It was all part of Ragnar Relay Minnesota, which saw 12-person teams cover 36 legs over nearly 200 miles from St. Paul to Duluth. Teams entered the area on the Sunrise Prairie Trail from Wyoming. A 3.9-mile leg led to an exchange at Doyle Fields, where the Stacy Lions sold concessions. Teammates continued the journey with a 4.6-mile trail leg and a 6.5-mile section that took competitors through downtown North Branch.
The next bunch were the hardcore runners: The 10.7-mile “Ragnar Leg,” considered the hardest of the event, stretched from Roger Johnson Memorial Park all the way through Harris and Rush City along Forest Boulevard before ending at C.E. Jacobson Elementary School. Runners who completed the Ragnar Leg received a special medal for their efforts before sending a teammate out to run north toward the Pine County border.
Teams ran all through the night, finishing at Lake Superior throughout the day on Saturday, Aug. 17.