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Earn that fair food: Go for a run in the fair's first 5K

The 2010 Great Prairie Dakota Dash 5K run at the Dakota County Fair is planned for 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 15 at the fairgrounds.

It will be the first time that the fair has played host to a fun run, but organizer Todd McIntyre hopes it won't be the last.

"We thought the fair would be a nice spot," said McIntrye, the founder of Great Prairie Sports, which is organizing the run. "It's the second largest county fair in the state. We think it will be a great time, and we think it will help promote Great Prairie at the same time."

With this being the inaugural race, McIntyre isn't sure just what to expect on race day.

"I have no idea (what to expect) - there's a lot of competition for different running races in the community," McIntyre said. "It might take a couple years before there is a critical mass there. We'll find out. We'll see what the response is for year one. We'll do what we can to get it exposed, and to grow it."

Registration can be completed online through Aug. 8 at

The entry fee, which includes a T-shirt, is $30 for adults and $22 for runners 17 and under.

Race day registration is available, but will not include a T-shirt.

The 5K route weaves its way throughout the fairgrounds and should be a very fast course, as there aren't many changes in elevation.

"For runners who don't like hills, this is the perfect course for them," McIntyre said. "Plus, you are pretty much running on grass for about 90 percent of the race. That's important. It's just good to be running on natural terrain and not on hard pavement."

The run is sanctioned by U.S.A. Track and Field.

The fairgrounds are located at 4008 220th Street West in Farmington.

The start line and finish line will be in front of Ahlberg Hall.

Daily fair parking fees of $5 will apply to anyone parking on the fairgrounds. All participants will get free fair admission on Aug. 15.

Proceeds from the race will go to Prairie Sports' mission, which is to get a 50-meter pool built in or near Minneapolis.

"There's a huge need for another long body of water," McIntyre said. "We have over 8,000 swimmers in the state of Minnesota. The only 50-meter we have is at the U of M, and it's a challenge to get into that facility. If we could have another long body of water in the community, that would resolve a lot of the growing pains we have right now."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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