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Got energy? Join the Run 'round Rose Lake

Lace up your running shoes, there's another race in the area.

New this year, the Run 'Round the Rose is set for July 19 around Rose Lake, located between Frazee and Vergas. Organizer Jim Jensen has some experience of his own with running, and with the cause behind the run -- diabetes.

Jensen, who owns a lake home on Rose Lake and has been spending his summers in Minnesota since he was a child, is a seven-year veteran of the National Football League, playing for the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.

His family has had a summer home on Rose Lake since the late 1960s, and that's why he chose that location for the race.

"It's nostalgic, it's a wonderful place, it's got a lot of family memories. It was the one time when our family could be together no matter what was going on in our lives.

The course, which is partly on tar roads and partly on gravel roads, is nothing new to him. He said growing up he used to run around the area for exercise.

More importantly though, he is organizing the race as a fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Association.

He got involved with organizing the race in memory of his mother, Lois, who lived with diabetes her entire adult life. Each year the family chose mid-July to visit the Rose Lake area because that was his mother's birthday.

"Our family grew up in Iowa, and like a lot of other Iowans, we vacationed in Minnesota because it was close and a whole lot nicer than Iowa," he said with a laugh.

The 12-mile race will wind around Rose Lake, and medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in the men's, women's and relay categories.

Although this is his first time organizing a race in this area, Jensen is no rookie at organizing triathlons and other fund-raisers. He had the Run 'Round the Rose put together when he approached the American Diabetes Association to see if they would be interested in being associated with his run.

"They were kind of tickled pink because somebody was bringing them an event," he said.

Jensen said while the idea of the fund-raiser was a natural one, the difficulty came with trying to organize the event from his home in Windsor, Colo.

"Not being a local created a lot more wrinkles," he said, "but I've met a lot of great people along the way."

Those people are listed as his honorary committee on the run's Web site, Everyone has been very cooperative, he added.

Jensen will be here July 19 running the race himself.

"I did the run in 1993, and it was just an awesome run. I haven't been in that good of shape since '93, so another reason to create something like this was to create a little motivation for myself personally to work out a bit more."

Although it's hard to put a number on the participants he hopes for the first year, Jensen said 200 would be nice. With the anticipated success of this year's race, he said he plans to hold the race each year.

The event will begin and end at Spanky's Stone Hearth. It is open to individuals and relay teams.

Pre-registration by July 9 is $50 for individuals or $125 for 4-person relay team. Day of the event, cost is $60 for individuals and $150 for a relay team.

For those looking to raise more money or defray their own cost to run, Jensen is giving discounts to runners who get pledges from individuals and businesses as well.

Registration begins at 6 a.m. the day of the race in the parking lot of Spanky's. Runners start at 7, and at 9, there will be refreshments in Spanky's, followed by awards.

One refreshment Jensen is planning is a group jump in the lake after the race.

"I'd like to have everybody jump in the lake after the run," he said. "It's going to be warm that time of year and that's why we're starting fairly early.

"But Rose Lake, because it is a deeper lake, the waters are a little bit cooler than the shallower lakes, so it'll definitely wake you up after the run."

For more information or to register, check out