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Bikini radar runners raise nearly $2,000 to help people with breast cancer

A group of four women and two men participated in a bikini radar run on Little Detroit Lake in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 19 to raise money for Pink Ribbon Riders, a breast cancer patient assistance organization. The group will be holding another fundraising event on March 12 in Fosston, Minnesota.

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Members of the Bikini Radar Run fundraising group smile for a photo before heading down a 1000-foot track in swimwear during the ULTRA Vintage Snowmobile Rally, Swap and Radar Run on Little Detroit Lake in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 19, 2022. The group of four women and two men raised nearly $2,000 for Pink Ribbon Riders, a breast cancer assistance group.
(Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

With single degree temperatures and a brisk 25 mph wind, a group of four women and two men participated in a snowmobile bikini radar run on Saturday to raise money for people struggling with breast cancer.

Each individual rider reached out for donations for the Feb. 19 run and ended up raising nearly $2,000 for Pink Ribbon Riders , an organization that provides direct financial assistance to male and female breast cancer patients.

Jolene Beiswenger, organizer for the bikini radar run, said it does take some mental preparation to get "psyched up" for the cold.

"Once it's our time we just don't think anymore, we just hop on the sled and go," said Beiswenger. "It's a 1000-foot run — the faster you go, the quicker it gets over."

She added that all the money raised by the group will stay in Minnesota to help breast cancer patients in the state.

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"They were doing (the fundraisers) out in Wisconsin and Michigan ... and the organization they were donating to is Pink Ribbon Riders, so I looked them up and I thought, 'That is a really worthy cause,'" she said. "Then, last fall, I actually had a lumpectomy ... and just the financial aspect of it was so devastating. And everything is fine, but still, I can't imagine the ones who really do have breast cancer, and the treatment they go through, and how expensive it is."

Beiswenger said the group is always looking for more riders and anyone interested should contact her through the group's Facebook page .

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A snowmobile racer flies down the 1000-foot track in a bikini as part of the Bikini Radar Run during the ULTRA Vintage Snowmobile Rally, Swap and Radar Run on Little Detroit Lake in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 19, 2022. A group of four women and two men raised nearly $2,000 for Pink Ribbon Riders, a breast cancer assistance group, during their trips down the track.
(Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)
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A snowmobile racer flies down the 1000-foot track in a swimsuit as part of the Bikini Radar Run during the ULTRA Vintage Snowmobile Rally, Swap and Radar Run on Little Detroit Lake in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 19, 2022. A group of four women and two men raised nearly $2,000 for Pink Ribbon Riders, a breast cancer assistance group, during their trips down the track.
(Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

The group held its first fundraiser in 2014 and, over the course of the next seven years, managed to raise $21,375 for Pink Ribbon Riders .

In 2019, one of the group's riders, Justine Allard, was clocked going an impressive 102 mph on a snowmobile in her bikini, Beiswenger said. Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication with the radar team at the track, their speeds weren't captured this year.

Nathan Hoggarth, of Wahpeton, N.D., took part in his first bikini radar run on Saturday and, after his run down the 1000-foot track, said he would love to come back next year. He added that this fundraiser has a special meaning to him, as well as to his brother, who also raced, because they lost their grandmother to cancer in 2018.

"It was cold, but fun," said Hoggarth after his maiden run. "It was definitely an experience, that's for sure, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."

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Nathan Hoggarth, of Wahpeton, N.D., flies down the 1000-foot track in swimwear as part of the Bikini Radar Run during the ULTRA Vintage Snowmobile Rally, Swap and Radar Run on Little Detroit Lake in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 19, 2022. A group of four women and two men raised nearly $2,000 for Pink Ribbon Riders, a breast cancer assistance group, during their trips down the track.
(Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

Lynnette Seaton, of Crookston, raised $762 for the event and, after her run, said the worst part was when she first took her outer layers off and the wind hit.

"Stinging pain," described Seaton of how that felt. "You hit the gas and it's like an adrenaline rush. You really don't notice it until you get to the end and you turn around and you gotta start coming back, and it kind of starts stinging again."

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She added that this year was probably the coldest weather she can remember for the event. She's participated in at least five bikini radar runs since 2017.

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Lynnette Seaton, of Crookston, Minn., flies down the 1000-foot track in a bikini as part of the Bikini Radar Run during the ULTRA Vintage Snowmobile Rally, Swap and Radar Run on Little Detroit Lake in Detroit Lakes on Feb. 19, 2022. A group of four women and two men raised nearly $2,000 for Pink Ribbon Riders, a breast cancer assistance group, during their trips down the track.
(Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

"It's just such a good cause," she said. "And people think you're crazy, so you can just look at them and laugh."

For more information about Pink Ribbon Riders , or to sign up to participate in the next bikini radar run, check out the group's website and Facebook page .

Lead Multimedia Reporter for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus.
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