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Tribune photo by Rand Middleton The morning air was sauna-like for the start of the 15th annual Foot Lake 4 on Litchfield Avenue on July 27, 2009. The “chipped” field of 436 was second only to 463 in 2007, a standard broken in 2012 with 473 runners and again last year with 522 finishers.

Willmar notebook: Four-miler hits its stride early

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Richard Rasmussen, a physician who happened to also be a serious runner (as in multiple marathons), had a suggestion 20 years ago. Perhaps, Rice Hospital might want to sponsor a foot race, such as 5k.

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Lori Massa thought it sounded like a fine idea. The head of the hospital walked over to the office of Mary Downs and told her to make it happen.

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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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