BROWN COUNTY - More than 100 runners and walkers have registered for the Breaking The Ice 5k/10k Walk/Run With the Troops set for 9 a.m., Saturday, March 31 at Allison Park, Sleepy Eye.
Packet pickup starts at 7:45 a.m. The run/walk will follow the Sleepy Eye Lake Trail. One lap is 5k (3.1 miles).
Races in Sleepy Eye and Kuwait involving soldiers will be broadcast online via Skype. Race time is 5 p.m. in Kuwait. Post-race snacks and prizes will be awarded in Allison Park.
Early-bird registration discount ($20) and T-shirt guarantee deadline is Friday, March 23 for the event. Cost after March 23 is $25.
The event was created by the Brown County Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Spring Run Committee in order to raise money for Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention.
For committee member Nadine Bode of New Ulm, it's a labor of love. Her daughter, Specialist Emily Bode works in the motor pool with the New Ulm-based 125th Field Artillery, The unit was deployed to Kuwait last spring to perform protection operations in support of U.S. forces in the final drawdown phase of operations in Iraq.
If you go:
What: 5k/10k Walk/Run With The Troops (via Skype)
When: 9 a.m., Saturday, March 31 (Guaranteed T-shirt deadline March 23
Where: Start, finish, Allison Park, Sleepy Eye Lake Trail;
"I miss her and can hardly wait to hug her," Bode said.
A Minnesota State University, Mankato junior, Bode worked at a New Ulm group home before deploying.
"When Emily joined the National Guard, she knew she probably would be deployed," Bode said. "I never planned an event like this, but it seemed right to do, something I needed to be involved in."
Bode said her daughter toured Kuwait City and took leave in Sri Lanka (an island country in the Indian Ocean, about 20 miles southeast of India) to enjoy a beach and other sights.
Bode wants to remain active with the Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Committee even after her daughter comes home.
"People have been very generous towards the event, and people planning it have been fun to work with. They worked hard to make it happen. I just want to do my best for the troops," she added.
1-125 Field Artillery FTS Officer In Charge Capt. Michael Graves said about 200 soldiers have registered for the run/walk in Kuwait. Weather will likely be a bit warmer there than it is here.
"Daytime highs in Kuwait have been in the 80s and it's quite humid there near the coast," Graves said.
The National Weather Forecast predicts New Ulm's daytime high at 61 with an evening low of 46 degrees for Friday, March 30.
The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon National Crisis Hotline is 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255.
For more information, visit http://browncomnyellowribbon/com_Breaking_the-Ice__5K-10K_Run.html
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).