Northwoods Adventure: Runners Enjoy Brainerd Lakes Scenery During The Annual Run For The Lakes
Thousands of people dug out their track shoes from the closet and came to Nisswa over the weekend to compete in the 12th annual Run for the Lakes.
“People have told us that this is the first run of the season,” Kara Schaefer, the race director, said. “People look forward to come up from the Cities for it, and it brings people together and brings them up to the area.”
“We just wanted to get out the Cities for the weekend,” Kristina Keppeler, a runner from Minneapolis, said. “We’re in law school so we just wanted to get the stress out.”
From a 1K to a full marathon, runners had five different distances they could compete in, but what makes the Run for the Lakes unique is the route the runners take.
“We are running past a lot of local lakes around here,” Schaefer said. “It gives people a taste of what we offer here in the Brainerd Lakes area.”
“It’s really peaceful and quiet, and I think that’s really motivating,” Keppeler said.
“It’s very quiet, there is a lot of nature, you can hear the birds,” Elise Heifort, a runner from Minneapolis, said. “I think that is what drew me in, the scenery.”
The marathoners run all the way around Clark and Hubert Lake, and then run along a handful of other lakes throughout the course, but the race would not have happened without the hundreds of volunteers.
“Our volunteers are crucial and we just really appreciate them,” Schaefer said. “We appreciate the whole city of Nisswa for opening up, we are literally running through neighborhoods, down driveways, we have water stops set up everywhere, everyone is just so supportive of this event, and without them we could not do it.”
“They really helped out a lot, it was great for water, and to just keep us motivated,” Collin Yahn, a runner from Nisswa said.
Plaques were given out to the top three runners in each age group, but people were just happy to know that their money was being donated back into the community through the Brainerd Jaycees.
The next Brainerd Jaycees event is Streetfest, which takes place in downtown Brainerd on the last weekend in July.
Next year’s Run for the Lakes is already scheduled for April 24th and 25th.