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Red Wing YMCA set to host inaugural Downhill Dash

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Red Wing YMCA set to host inaugural Downhill Dash
Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

Mother Nature has not cooperated with the Red Wing Family YMCA's five-kilometer races and half-marathons in Red Wing in recent years.


"The past three years, humidity and temperature were high, so we decided to not do that anymore," said David Anderson, the associate executive director at the Red Wing YMCA.

Still looking to encourage summer fitness, as well as raise money for Camp Pepin, the Red Wing YMCA introduced a new idea: the Downhill Dash.

On Thursday June 20, seven waves of runners will hit the road on Fourth Street for the inaugural Downhill Dash for a mile-long run/walk.

"We wanted to match it up with the longest day of the year and make a big community event," Anderson said. "Get it downtown and get some Main Street businesses involved."

The first wave starts at 4:30 p.m. The waves include: the Red Wing Shoe brand race, the corporate challenge, competitive race, the friends and family race, the Red Wing area seniors race, the "I can do it" race (for races overcoming illness, joint replacement or rehabilitating injuries) and the Camp Pepin race.

The goal, according to Anderson, is to get racers paired up with like-minded competitors to encourage participation.

"The idea was to try and offer something that everybody can do," Anderson said. "You say five kilometer, half-marathon and marathon, you're really just marketing to those kinds of runners. This gets those who don't have the desire to be a runner to get out and exercise. ... It's easy for people to do something with a friend, and this is to help friends and families run together."

Runners can register at or in-person at the YMCA. Online registration closes Wednesday, while runners can register on Thursday at the YMCA or at Central Park. The cost is $10 per person or $25 per family.

As of this week, Anderson said that more than 100 runners had registered for the Downhill Dash, and the hope is before the festivities get under way, 1,000 runners or 150-200 per wave will take part. The YMCA is also looking for 100-plus volunteers to help with the Downhill Dash.

After the races, rock band Free Energy will perform at the Central Park band shell.

"A couple of guys in the band grew up in Red Wing and this is the first time they've come back to Red Wing," Anderson said. "This is a great opportunity for the community to come out and see them."

For more information, go to or contact Anderson at 651-388-4724 or