Fitness for the Fourth

Published 10:50 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Runners take off for last year's Hog Jog 5-mile, part of Freedom Fest.

Runners take off for last year’s Hog Jog 5-mile, part of Freedom Fest.


Hog Jog, Ulwelling Bike Race return this weekend

Tradition will continue on two wheels and two feet this weekend in Austin.

Fitness junkies can get their fix in either the the long-standing 25-Mile Dan Ulwelling Bike Race or the 31st annual Hog Jog 5-Mile Run on Saturday. Each race usually draws more than 100 participants each year.

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The Hog Jog kicks off bright and early with pre-registration from 6:45 to 7:30 a.m. at the race site, which is the East Side Lake parking lots. Runners will blast off at 8 a.m. and sprint toward Watts Cooking, past Todd Park and loop back around to East Side Lake. As always, those looking for the coveted Hog Jog tee shirt will have to lace up their running shoes and participate, said organizer Kristi Stasi, as shirts cannot simply be bought. Runners can join one of several age categories: 15 and younger, 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64 and 65 and older.

Organizers will award prizes for the overall male and female winners, along with first- and second-place prizes for each age category.

Hog Jog participants can register online at or in person. The cost is $30.

Later in the day, a tradition well older than 20 years will roll out from the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Registration for the 25-Mile Dan Ulwelling Bike Race will begin at 11 a.m. at the Nature Center, and the race will begin at noon, head north toward Lansing, then toward Waltham before snaking back to the Nature Center.

Organizer Terry Fox, who got involved with the event while he was friends with Ulwelling, said the event draws competitive groups from as far as Minneapolis and Owatonna. Those who have not participated in the past may not realize the intensity, he added.

“The games, the blocking— there is pinching on guys, there are guys that pull,” Fox said.

Several years ago, about a dozen riders crossed the finish line within a second Fox said, which was quite a rush for both riders and spectators. Still, participants can simply ride their own paces, as well, in one of several age categories: 18 and younger, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and older.

Registration for the race/ride is $15; prizes will be awarded to the first overall male and female, and medals will be given to first, second and third in each category.