By Linda Andersen
“It’s my favorite thing to do all year,” said Rev. Frank Johnson of his participation in the Lake Bronson Adventure Race, which is scheduled this year for Saturday, May 12th.
Johnson, who plays a significant part in organizing the race each year, said the event is now in its fourth year.
Speaking of the beginnings of the local event, Johnson explained that fellow minister Kathy Levenhagen told him they should be using the Lake Bronson State Park more. Knowing that Johnson is a biker, runner, and swimmer, she suggested hosting a triathlon.
Johnson said he “envisioned what an accessible race could be for everyone” and came up with the Lake Bronson Adventure race.
He explained that some adventure races are eight hours to several days long. The Lake Bronson race, however, lasts just three hours and is “a race that pretty much anybody can do, but is still a challenge.”
He said participants in the past have been as young as ten or as old as the mid-sixties. “Every year we have teams that walk,” he added. Sometimes the race can involve “crashing through bushes.” There’s a “wildernessy kind of feel” to the race Johnson added.
Teams of two or three people get together and aim to reach “check points.” They reach the check points by running/walking, biking, and canoeing.
Having a three-hour limit, “every team scores one point for every check point they get to…The team that wins has the highest number of points.” Johnson added that, in case of a tie, the team that scored the points fastest is the winner.
Along the way, participants stop to accomplish certain tasks. These tasks have included everything from dropping ping pong balls off the observation tower to answering history challenge questions to figuring out how to set up tents and take them down. “Every year we try to show off a certain aspect of the park,” Johnson said.
Participants need to bring their own bike and helmet. Everything else is provided.
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“We already have more local teams signed up than last year,” said Johnson, while explaining that, last year, seventeen teams out of twenty were from places other than Kittson County.
Loren Younggren, who Johnson said has been on the winning team all three years, was asked for some comments on the event: “It is certainly a team event where you must work together and use the strengths of each teammate to navigate your way through each segment and find the most efficient way to complete each task and complete the course. All three years have been really different. You just never know what the organizers come up with until the maps are handed out the morning of the event. It really is fun for any level of participation; you don’t have to be ‘in it to win it’ to have a good time and it is a great way to see ‘off the beaten path’ parts of the park that you might not otherwise see,” replied Younggren.
The Lake Bronson Adventure Race is not only fun, but serves a good purpose. This year funds from the event will go to young people who will attend a youth gathering in Houston in June. Participating churches are Grace Lutheran, Hallock, Red River Lutheran, rural Kennedy; Maria Lutheranm Kennedy; Sion Lutheran, Lancaster; First Lutheran, Karlstad; and Zion Lutheran, Lake Bronson.
Sponsors of the event are Bean & Brush, Revelation Ale Works, C & M Ford, and Scandinavia Airbnb, all of Hallock.
Sign up for the Lake Bronson Adventure Race by going to www.graceredriver.com/adventurerace Pre-registration is required. Pre-register before the end of April and pay $100 per team. After April 1st, the cost will be $125. The registration fee also pays for a race t-shirt and a meal served by Bean & Brush after the race.
Be at the Lake Bronson State Park Visitor’s Center at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 12th for a day of fun that supports a good cause!