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Ragnar Relay to come through area, weekend traffic could be impacted

The world’s largest relay series returns to Minnesota and Wisconsin this weekend, Aug. 16-17, when over 2,600 runners from over 300 teams take part in the 203-mile long Ragnar Relay Great River from Winona to Minneapolis.

The two-day overnight relay race will take participants through southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin, including both River Falls and Hudson.

Runners will begin in downtown Winona Friday, Aug. 16, and travel into Wisconsin before finishing along the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis Saturday, Aug. 17. More than 300 teams from 29 states are expected to participate.

The Ragnar Relay Great River consists of 36 legs of varying length and difficulty. Teams will run alongside the banks of the Mississippi River and cross through the open countryside of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The race runs primarily along trails and rural roads with vans following runners to key exchange zones. In some areas, local residents may experience heavy levels of traffic.

From Winona, the course will take runners into Wisconsin and through Nelson, Stockholm, Bay City, Ellsworth and Beldenville.

Runners will enter River Falls from the south on Hwy. 35 with an exchange zone at UW-River Falls’ Ramer Field. They will continue south on Main Street to Cascade Ave, then west to Winter Street and west on Cty. MM to Glover Road, where they will continue to another exchange zone located at River Crest Elementary School in Hudson.

From River Crest, runners will take O’Keefe Road to Industrial Street to Hanley Road. They will continue to Heggen Street and cross Interstate 94 to Coulee Road, where they will follow Buckeye Street to First Street to another exchange zone at Lakefront Park.

From Lakefront Park, runners will take Hwy. 35 North to the Valley House before continuing on to Houlton where they will cross the lift bridge into Stillwater.