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Fair's 5K run is set for Aug. 12

While it's not meant to be a mud run, the Dakota County Fair 5K has gotten a reputation for ending up that way. The run, which has been held the last three fairs, takes athletes through the varied terrain of the fairgrounds.

Organizer Todd McIntyre said runners will trek through Heritage Village and the restored prairie on grass and dirt trails. The last several years, there has been considerable rain fall meaning the course has been muddy.

"It's a lot of fun for a lot of people," said McIntyre. "Everyone gets muddy and you look like you just ran out of a pig sty."

This year, Baldy's BBQ will sponsor the race. Because of the sponsorship and the muddy nature of the course this year's event has been dubbed the 2012 Great Prairie 5k Pig Run. Winners will receive a package of bacon.

McIntyre said he has contacted the many of the fall high school coaches to encourage their athletes to participate in the race.

"It's a great race for all the student athletes who will start their seasons the next day," said McIntyre.

The run is put on by Great Prairie Sports. The nonprofit hosts athletic events to promote healthful lifestyles. The organization also offers education on proper nutrition and exercise techniques to promote a sustainable life.

Great Prairie puts on a number of different athletic events throughout the year including swimming, bicycling and shooting events. Additionally, the organization works to attract people to become pentathletes. A pentathlon includes five events: pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping and running.

Farmington resident Aaron Lane competes in the pentathlon and has qualified for the national championships. McIntyre hopes to attract more people to the sport.

In the meanwhile, McIntyre is excited for the Dakota County Fair. McIntyre advised runners to wear older shoes because they are likely to get wet and muddy.

The 5K will be held Aug. 12, the last day of the fair. Racers will get into the fair for free with their registration. The race begins at 8 a.m.

For more information visit or register at