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Runners hope to raise $50,000 for DTBL

By Sunday, Oct. 6, 16 runners hope to have raised about $50,000 for the Hastings-based organization Defending the Blue Line.

Josh Petzel, a Minneapolis resident, hockey coach in Edina and general manager of The Local, a Minneapolis pub, ran the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon for the second time last year. He was lacking motivation, though, he said, so decided to get into fundraising. He had seen DTBL do various events and liked what they did, so he contacted the president and founder, Shane Hudella. Hudella suggested pairing the marathon with fundraising for DTBL, Petzel said, so he set a goal to raise $2,000. By the end of it, he had nearly raised $5,000.

"It was a lot of fun; a lot of people got involved," Petzel said. "It blew me away, quite frankly, the response I got."

This year, Petzel wants to raise even more money. Hudella applied to the marathon organization to become an official charity partner and got approved. That means DTBL is listed on the marathon registration as a charity, and runners can choose to donate to them right from the registration form.

Petzel got a team together of 16 people. A few are co-workers, one is his girlfriend, others are DTBL volunteers.

"A lot of them are already connected with Defending The Blue Line," Petzel said.

He does have one big name running with them. Don Lucia, head coach of the University of Minnesota's Gophers mens hockey team.

The team kicked off its fundraising efforts Aug. 25 and will continue for the next three to four weeks leading up to the marathon. If all goes well, they'll be able to meet their $50,000 goal.

"If he does it, it would be pretty impressive," Hudella said.

Those who want to help can donate online. Go to and click the link on the top of the page. People can donate to a specific runner or to the team as a whole. Those who donate $25 or more will get a commemorative race T-shirt.


The public is invited to join the team after the race for a party at The Liffey, 175 W. Seventh St. in St. Paul. The party begins at noon Sunday, Oct. 6. Anyone wearing one of the race T-shirts (received by donating at least $25 to the race team) will get food and drink specials at the party, Petzel said.