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Red Beard Run settles into new home in Spicer

The Red Beard Run returned in-person Saturday, March 19, in a new home — Spicer. The race is part of the Glacial Lakes Championship Running Series and is the second in-person race of 2022.

Bobbi Walsh, center, of Murdock leads a pack of runners while competing in the Red Beard Run in Spicer on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
Bobbi Walsh, center, of Murdock leads a pack of runners while competing in the Red Beard Run in Spicer on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

SPICER — After hitting the pause button for the past two years, the annual Red Beard Run was back in full swing once again in a completely new location.

According to race director Dan Hubbard, the event was shuttered back in 2020 as restrictions due to COVID-19 were handed down on the day before the St. Patrick's Day race, which at that point was held in Willmar.

With his four-leafed clover fedora keeping the sun from his eyes, volunteer Jay Lawton waits for runners to arrive at his check station during the Red Beard Run in Spicer on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
With his four-leafed clover fedora keeping the sun from his eyes, volunteer Jay Lawton waits for runners to arrive at his check station during the Red Beard Run in Spicer on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Last year, a virtual 5K was held in place of an in-person gathering for the event, but after two years with very few races being held, people are ready to get back to normal life once again, Hubbard said.

"I think people are done with (the pandemic)," he said.

The race, which is part of the Glacial Lakes Championship Running Series, is the second in-person race of 2022. The first, known as the Frozen 5K, took place during the annual Spicer Winterfest back at the end of January.

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As far as Hubbard knows, the racing series is back to normal once again, featuring 11 races throughout the 2022 calendar.

Willmar-based runner Conner Gabbert runs along Green Lake in Spicer while competing in the Red Beard Run on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
Willmar-based runner Conner Gabbert runs along Green Lake in Spicer while competing in the Red Beard Run on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

This year's Red Beard Run featured just over 100 racers from throughout the region.

Riley Burgstahler, of Kerkhoven, took first in the men's division and overall with a time of 16 minutes, 26 seconds.

Kristen Williamson, of Willmar, was the first-place finisher in the female division, finishing with a time of 20 minutes, 58 seconds.

PHOTO GALLERY: Red Beard Run hits the Spicer streets on March 19, 2022

Macy Moore is an award-winning photojournalist at the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota.
She can be reached via email: mmoore@wctrib.com or phone: 320.214.4338.
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