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Runners get some seasoning at Chub

Local high school cross country runners got a chance to shake off the rust last Thursday with the annual Chub Lake meet, which is all about having fun and getting a chance to run.

"This is not your typical meet," said meet organizer Jerimy Hallsten of Esko. "I inherited the meet from Jerry Zimney, Mike Bushey and Tim Lindquist and I am sure they inherited running the meet from others before them, but regardless, it is a relaxed event for everyone."

Each coach times their own runners and there is no official accounting of who placed where. Runners can run on a one-loop course, a two-loop course or the full three-loop course. Boys and girls run together. About 250 runners were at the event from Esko, Cloquet, Carlton/Wrenshall, McGregor, Hermantown, Cromwell-Wright, Moose Lake/Willow River, Duluth Marshall and Proctor.

"It really is more of a scrimmage and it is a good chance for new runners to find out exactly what a cross country meet is all about," Hallsten said. "Experienced runners can use it to get a good baseline of where their fitness level is and it gives coaches a chance to see where the fitness level is for all their runners."

The weather on Thursday could not have been better with temperatures in the mid-60s and overcast skies on a day when other parts of the state broiled in triple-digit temperatures.

"Our area is really lucky we have some very knowledgeable coaches and all of them care about the sport," Hallsten said. "Nine teams religiously show up for this event. We don't have many Carlton County races so it is always nice when we can run close to home."

Hallsten says the race is as "informally, formal as possible" and the allure of the event is the fact that it stresses the fun parts of the sport.

Things will began in earnest during this week as teams entered the regular cross country season.