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Relay runners wait at the mile three water station during the 2010 Run 'Round the Rose race. Submitted Photo

Run around Rose Lake gets popular

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Several years ago, Candy Lachowitzer's daughters challenged her to start running and dared her to run a 5k -- which she did.

Five years ago, as a group, Lachowitzer and her daughters ran in the Run 'Round the Rose race as a four-person relay team during its inaugural year. They've been doing it every year since.

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"I thought it would be a cool thing to do," she said. "It's a blast."

Though it's main purpose is to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association, those participating in the annual Run 'Round the Rose 12-mile race have various reasons -- health, bonding time, employee fitness.

Lachowitzer has five daughters -- one who was too young to run when they started -- so the women would run a four-person relay team and one daughter would just run with Lachowitzer for fun.

"The last few years we've had more daughters than we need, so Madison just runs along with me on my leg of it so she can be included," she said.

Lachowitzer's older daughters are Heather Schmid, Madison Gigstead, Jenna Gigstead and Brittany Schanandore. Her youngest daughter, Kate Lachowitzer, is 8 and ran her first 5k race at the Fargo Marathon this year.

"(Kate) wouldn't want to do this (race), or maybe she would, but we don't have room," she said with a laugh.

Heather will be eight months pregnant during this year's race, so Madison will get her own leg of the race.

Regardless of who is running each year, Lachowitzer and her daughters will continue to run.

"Now it's become kind of a tradition," she said. "We use our same tank tops and we add the year on the backs."

Now, mother and daughters have run various races throughout the region including the Fargo Marathon and the Dick Beardsley Half Marathon.

Although runner Mary Mayfield first ran the race five years ago because her co-worker's young brother was diagnosed with diabetes, it's been about personal running success as well.

"He's a little guy that can't do anything about it -- but I can," she said of participating in the race.

So Mayfield and her co-workers at Seip Drug formed a relay team and raised money for diabetes. Employees, and some friends and family, have been forming a team every year since the Rose's start.

This is the fifth year, and they will have two teams this year -- one four-person and one two-person.

Mayfield, who has always participated in the four-person team, is stepping it up to a two-person team this year, meaning she's running six miles instead of three.

Five years ago when the race started, Mayfield said that she had just started running and the timing seemed right to give this race a try. Plus, diabetes runs in her family, so the purpose of the race fit as well.

She keeps running the Rose race every year for two reasons.

"It's just for the awareness of diabetes and just to push ourselves to stay in shape and have that goal."

Between races, the Seip Drug team participants get together to train, so it's a nice chance to see each other outside of work as well.

"It's a lot of fun to do," she said. "We always look forward to doing (the race) each year."

The 12-mile race begins and ends at Spanky's Stone Hearth Restaurant, located on County Road 4 between Frazee and Vergas. The awards are given out in Spanky's after the race.

"I was approached by Jim, looking for a place to hold it," Spanky's owner Josh Hanson said of race director Jim Jensen. He was more than happy to help, Hanson added.

Last year he encouraged his employees to get involved by paying their entry fees. About 20 employees participated from Spanky's and Hanson's other business, Skal. This year, there are as many employees signed up again.

More than to help out the cause, he said, it encourages his employees -- Hanson included since he and his team won the relay last year -- to stay active and healthy.

Plus, it's great scenery to enjoy around Rose Lake and various terrain to run, he added.

For those not quite willing to run, Hanson said there's always a good showing of people on Spanky's deck to cheer on the runners.

"I encourage local businesses to support their staff and get them to enjoy a beautiful run on Rose Lake," Hanson said.

For more information or to register for the Run 'Round the Rose race on July 14, visit www.runtherose.com.

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