‘Flat and fast’ run a good chance to break personal records

Editor’s note: This is the third article in a weekly series featuring bicycling tours, fund-raising runs and other organized fitness activities happening this summer throughout the region. To let us know about upcoming events, please send an e-mail to

By Dawn Schuett

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

WINONA — The BK 5K Road Race on Saturday along East Lake Winona will raise money for youth programs in the community while challenging competitors to go the distance faster than they ever have.

The race and walk, in its eighth year, began as a way to honor Bob Kierlin, co-founder of Fastenal Company in Winona, longtime supporter of youth programs and former state legislator. Kierlin is currently chairman of the board of directors at Fastenal.


With the company managing the race in recent years, the amount of money raised has significantly increased from $30,000 in 2006 to $70,000 in 2007. This year, the goal is $100,000.

"Everything we do is focused around growth, so when we took over the BK 5K, that’s what we did," said Jeremy Johnson, race director and the sales manager for direct import services at Fastenal.

Each year, the money is distributed through a formal grant process to organizations and programs that serve youths. Past recipients have included Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Winona, Rock Solid Youth Center in Winona and school music and athletic programs.

"It is really a local community effort," Johnson said. "The results and the benefits are directly connected to the area youths, so it’s all very visible."

The race, one of many activities scheduled during Winona Steamboat Days Wednesday through June 23, also pushes competitors to do their best. When they register, entrants are asked to include their personal record for a 5K run or walk. Those who beat their personal record receive a trophy. About 50 of the 250 competitors in last year’s BK 5K were awarded trophies.

The 5-kilometer course is "flat and fast" so it’s an advantage for participants striving for a new personal record, Johnson said.

"If you’re a runner, that’s where you’re going to get your personal best or you have the greatest chance," he said.

First-place finishers among men and women will win $500. Second-place finishers and third-place finishers receive $400 and $300, respectively. Cash prizes are also awarded to the top finishers in each of the 14 age categories from 10 and younger to 70 and older.


Go & Do

What: BK 5K Road Race

Where: Winona

When: Saturday. Packet pickup and final registration is from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Lake Park Lodge along East Lake Winona.

Entry fee: $17 per adult and $12 for youths younger than 14. Registration may be done online at or the morning of the race.

For more information, go to

BK 5K raise money for youth programs in Winona

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