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Sagedahls: Three generations of running excellence

Sagedahl family returns for 40th annual Fairmont Summer Run

TEAM SAGEDAHL — Family members, from left, Penn Sagedahl, Siri Sagedahl, Joel Sagedahl and Sherwood Sagedahl pose with their blue ribbons after winning the team competition at the 2017 Fairmont Summer Run held at Bob Bonk Track on the Fairmont High School campus. The three generations of runners will headline the 2-mile field during next Saturday’s 40th annual community road race in Fairmont. The competition begins with the 5-mile run at 8:30 a.m. (Photo courtesy of Joel Sagedahl)

FAIRMONT — If you’re signed up for the 2-mile run at next Saturday’s 40th annual Fairmont Summer Run, the odds are good you’ll be running close to a member of the Sagedahl family.

Road-tested family patriarch Sherwood Sagedahl of Fairmont will join forces with son, Joel, along with grandson, Penn, and granddaughter, Siri — all three from Minnetonka — and look to defend their team triumph from the 2017 competition.

“It was the first time that all of us had run the 2-mile race together in Fairmont, and we’re signed up to do it again this year,” said Joel Sagedahl, who established a new age-group record — 40-49 — with a time of 11 minutes, 57 seconds.

But Joel is not the lone record-holder in the family as 79-years-young Sherwood currently holds two marks in the late summer community road race — 14:25 in the 70 & above 2-mile run and 39:27 for the 5-mile 70 & over bracket.

“That’s the great thing about this event, it brings a lot of family and friends back to the area to reconnect,” said Sherwood, who’s ranked No. 1 in the world in the Masters Senior Track & Field male 75-79 outdoor pentathlon, in addition to being the current world record-holder in both the men’s 70-74 and 75-79 divisions. The pentathlon consists of long jump, javelin, discus, open 200 meters and a 1,500-meter run. “I’m really looking forward to running the course with all three of them next weekend, especially Penn and Siri.

“This fall, Penn will compete for a good Hopkins High School cross country team. I’m also excited that Siri, who is entering ninth grade at Hopkins this fall, is running the 2-mile race. She has been working out this summer, getting ready for the upcoming cross country season.”

Ironically, while Joel set an age-group record a year ago, Penn actually captured the overall 2-mile Summer Run championship by crossing the finish line in 10:53. Sherwood made it a Team Sagedahl trifecta sweep by taking top honors in the 70 & above race in 14:28.

Penn, who will serve as a captain on the Hopkins lineup this fall, and his fellow prep harriers will be returning from their 6-day running trip in the mountains of Wyoming in time for him to step to the starting line at 9:30 a.m. next Saturday in the 2-mile run at Bob Bonk Track in Fairmont.

“Penn and my dad run five or six times a week, while I only get a chance maybe three times a week,” said Joel, who stays busy as a family practice physician in Plymouth.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep pace with them,” Joel said with a chuckle.

Neil Hanson, Tonya Klunder, Isaiah Peters and Stew Murfield each matched Joel Sagedahl last summer by establishing records in their respective age brackets of the 2-mile run, while Stannetta Svoboda whittled a staggering 10 minutes off the 5-mile mark for the women’s 54-60 age group.

Svoboda crossed the finish line in 37:34 to eclipse Joan Bartingale’s previous top time of 48:01 to become a rare three-bracket record-holder.

The Martin County West High School cross country and track & field mentor also holds the women’s fastest 5-mile times in the 40-46 bracket (34:13) and 47-53 division (34:58).

The 5-mile run will kick off the 40th anniversary of the Fairmont Summer Run at 8:30 a.m. next Saturday, starting at Bonk Track, followed by the 2-mile run/walk at 9:30 a.m. A quarter-mile run — for ages 9 & under — hits the tarred surface at 10 a.m., followed by a half-mile race — for ages 13 & under — at 10:05 a.m. The awards program will cap the annual event.

“This is the oldest continuous run in south-central Minnesota,” said Roni Dauer, director of Fairmont Community Education and Recreation — one of the event’s original sponsors. “I remember Bob Bonk presenting the idea to (then-CER director) Gary (Hamman), and it’s been a success ever since its days as the Cedar Creek Run.”

Runners are encouraged to pre-register by noon Tuesday, July 24, and can do so by going to: fairmontareaschools.portal.rschooltoday.com and then click onto “Webstore” and then Community Education and Recreation.

Runners also can obtain a brochure from the CER Office at 714 Victoria St. in Fairmont and return the completed form with their entry fee.

Race-day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. next Saturday at the Fairmont Fieldhouse and closes 10 minutes prior to each of the four races.

For more information, contact the Fairmont CER Office at (507) 235-3141.

Mayo Clinic Health System, Fairmont Chiropractic & Acupuncture Health Care, Ltd., Burtis Chiropractic Center, Fairmont Family Dentistry, Carlson Dental Office, P.A., United Hospital District, Center for Specialty Care, J. Hokanson Print, Culligan Water, Hy-Vee and Fareway Food Stores are sponsoring this year’s event.

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