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Running club tours Flandrau trails

Log 20 miles Saturday

Staff photo by Fritz Busch New Ulm Run Club members from left, Paul Gutzke, Justin Mattson, and Mike Benz, all of New Ulm, run a Flandrau State Park Trail at The Last Person Standing 5k event Saturday.

NEW ULM — Three New Ulm Run Club members lapped Flandrau State Park six times Saturday, logging 20 miles.

Mike Benz, Paul Gutzke and Justin Mattson followed trails along the edges of the park beginning at 7 a.m., around sunrise.

Chris Gordon usually would have joined the runners, but he is nursing a fractured foot injury and rode a bike along parts of the state park trail.

Taking an easy, jogging pace, the runners were greeted by a few deer on their first morning, 3-1/4 mile lap. The final lap was adjusted to end at 20 miles.

Each lap, which took 30 to 32 minutes, featured a 107-foot elevation gain. About 600 calories were burned by each runner on each lap.

Runners ran on wooden planks over wet areas of the trail.

Between laps, runners rested and grabbed something to eat and drink. Hammocks were used to take rests, something that was more treasured as the day wore on.

“Next year, we’ll shoot for 26.2 miles. We plan to make this an annual event,” said Benz.

The run club, which includes a Facebook site, often hosts three-mile Saturday morning runs that begin at 7 a.m. at a pre-defined spot like the Hermann Monument. Sometimes the runs follow the road into and out of Schell’s Brewery.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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