NEW ULM - Several hundred people including many students and small children in strollers braved a cool wind at the first annual Eagles 5000 Saturday at New Ulm High School.
Coordinated by the Friends of Independent School District 88 with help from student clubs and athletic teams, the 5k road race included two New Ulm men - Duane Oftedahl and Jamie Brandt - who are preparing for perhaps the world's most challenging event, the World's Toughest Mudder.
As he has at many local and area road races, Oftedahl, a New Ulm Medical Center orthopedic surgeon, won the 5k race in 18:16. Brandt, a Christianson Farms herds-person, qualified for the World's Toughest Mudder, a 24-hour challenge advertised as designed to find the toughest man, woman and four-person team on the planet, earlier this year.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Several hundred runners and walkers compete at the first annual Eagles 5000 Saturday at New Ulm High School.
To be held in Elizabethtown, N.J. Nov. 18-19, 2012, the Toughest Mudder features a dozen miles of hills, mud, water, ropes, walls, electric shocks and fire designed to push competitors to their limits on a 12-mile loop.
Male and female winners, who complete the most laps at the World's Toughest Mudder will receive $15,000 each. The first-place team will win $20,000.
"They estimate that about 10 percent of competitors will finish," said Oftedahl. "I'm hoping for cold weather, which I feel will be to my advantage."
At about 5 p.m. each Thursday, you'll likely find him training at the NUHS track, doing sprint "ladders," hill workouts and calisthenics that probably don't compare to what most runners could handle.
His typical workout may include 5 400-yard dashes, four 300-day dashes, three 200-yard dashes and 2 100-yard dashes with push-ups in between each dash.
"I love running hills too. There are some near my home so that helps," Oftedahl added.
His youngest son's middle name is Prefontaine, named after the late University of Oregon and 1972 Olympic 5000 meter entrant Steve Prefontaine, who once held every American distance record from the 2,000 to 10,000 meters and won hundreds of cross country and track races before dying in a car crash at age 24 in 1975.
Sleepy Eye native Ashley Hoscheidt was the first female finisher in 19:42.
The New Ulm High School gymnastics team won the Eagles 5000 Spirit Award.
For complete race results, visit www.racechiptiming.com
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.