Yellow Ribbon walk/run attracts many to park

SLEEPY EYE – It wasn’t nearly as warm as it was for the race last year, but the second annual Breaking The Ice 5k/10k walk run with the troops Saturday around Sleepy Eye Lake raised more than $4,000 for the Brown County Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program.

Duane Oftedahl, 31, of New Ulm and Steven Regan, 23, of Redwood Falls, finished ahead of 233 runners and walkers, winning the 5k (3.1 mile) and 10k (6.2 mile) races respectively despite a stiff northwest wind on the trail that has four tractor crossings and splits several farm fields.

Oftedahl, a physician assistant at New Ulm Medical Center, and Regan, who works at Monsanto, ran together for the first (5k) lap of the lake. Oftedahl’s chip time was 19:05 over 5k. Regan’s 10k chip time was 37:51.

Stephen Joyce, 16, of Sleepy Eye, finished third overall in the 5k in 21:25; winning his age group. Donna Weets, 22, was the first female 5k finisher in 26:50. Mary Rosenhammer, 17, followed in 27:04.

Maria Bauer, 22, was the first female 10k finisher in 39:38, an eyelash ahead of Jennifer Brady, 28.

Many of the runners and walkers were New Ulm-based Minnesota National Guard members, their spouses, families and relatives.

Donations, partners and sponsors are needed for Yellow Ribbon, a non-profit organization created to bring service members all the way home. Community coalitions formed of local law enforcement, doctors, nurses, school personnel, clergy, scout leaders, parents, youth, etc. can effectively help develop and implement the Yellow Ribbon Program in communities.

For more information, visit minnesotaveteran/org or call 1-888-LinkVET (546-5838).

For complete race results, visit and click on 2013 races/results, Breaking The Ice results.

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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