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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Starting at the head of the pack where they would finish are Kadie Hokanson (red head band), Mike Heinen (shirtless on March 17) and Kyle Eckhoff at the first St. Patrick's Day Red Beard 7k run. The start was on Kandiyohi County Road 24 paralleling hole No. 1 at the Eagle Creek Golf Club which had opened a day earlier.

Running: Heinen wins inaugural Red Beard road race

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WILLMAR -- It was not a typical mid-March morning in Minnesota nor were the nearly 200 runners in ordinary gear.

The event was the 1st annual St. Patrick's Day Red Beard 7k (4.23 mile) run held on the city's north flank.

The mercury already was pushing 60 degrees at the 9 a.m. start under a bright sky.

The St. Patrick's Day decorations included socks, shorts, tops and hats in Irish green, plus a few males with red beards.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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