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Maple Grove Voice

Photos: Runners Celebrate Independence with Freedom to Run Four Miles Race

Jul 05, 2017 05:12AM ● By Doug Erlien
The Charities Challenge organization and Road Runners Club of America held the 9th Annual Free to Run 4 Miles race on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. 

“We have so much to be thankful for, on this other Thanksgiving day, our day of Independence. Lots to be thankful for,” Organizer Gary Westlund said. 

More than 30 participants of all ages and running experience ran four laps around Arbor Lake finishing at 
Claddagh Irish Pub with a complimentary Irish breakfast and beer.

Brad Onstad crossed the finish line for the first time ever after committing to run the race with his wife Lori as an early birthday present.

“It’s super cool,” Lori said. “I’m very proud of him. It was really a treat to do something I’ve done for a long time with him.”

For Brad, the training leading up to race day readied him for his first race.

“I’ve lost weight over the last year, 80 pounds now so I started running in January and worked my way up,” Brad said. “It was exciting.”

Eleanor Taylor is no race rookie. The 76-year-old continues to be active and despite a 
 scheduled knee replacement surgery at the end of July, wouldn’t have been anywhere else on the 4th of July.

“I haven’t been able to do any other runs and I wanted to do this today even though I walked it,” Taylor said. “If I sit down, I’ll never get up. You gotta keep everything going.”

Father and son duo Bill and Nate Miller have made running a big part of their relationship as well.

“It’s wonderful, we’re celebrating freedom,” Bill said. “This is our second Maple Grove race together this year. We did the one at the high school too.”

“I try to keep up and not let him beat me,” said son Nate. “We succeeded this time, we tied.”

For more Charities Challenge races and information, visit their website.

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