Sign up for Rampage

Early bird special sign up for the first Rampage at the Ridge ends March 31.

The event is similar to other endurance-pushing, obstacle-jumping races like Tough Mudder.

The event is Aug. 24 at Giants Ridge. It was created by the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota to raise money for a new initiative to focus on local veterans and their families.

For more information, go to


Support athletics

Gary-Morgan Park Hockey is holding a fundraiser for youth hockey from 1-7 p.m. Saturday at Good Fellowship Community Center, 1242 88th Ave. W.

Activities include a raffle, silent auction, bake sale, bingo from 1-4 p.m. and a spaghetti feed from 5-7 p.m.

Cost for supper is $5 for adults and $3 for children. We welcome your submissions and suggestions.

See Duluth with sticks on your feet

The Duluth XC Ski Club will hold its Tour Duluth XC Ski Event on March 8.

The event will wrap up with a gathering at the Hartley Nature Center at 5:30 p.m. and will have music by the Riverside Bog Stompers, beer from Thirsty Pagan Brewery, food from Duluth Grill and socializing with skiers from, we’re guessing, other skiers.

There is no cost to participate in Tour Duluth, though skiers 16 and older must have a Minnesota ski pass for city of Duluth ski trails. The dinner at Hartley is free for Duluth XC Ski Club members and $8 for guests, with $5 passes for guests ages 5-12.

Continental Ski & Bike and the Ski Hut are offering free rental skis for tour participants.

Trails & suggested start times
* 8 a.m. Magney-Snively (8K-14K classic and skate)
* 9:30 a.m. Spirit Mountain Nordic Center (1K-20K classic and skate) (hot drinks and snacks served)
* 11:30 a.m. Piedmont (1K skate, 1K-4K classic)
* 12:30 p.m. Snowflake Nordic Center (1K-12K classic and skate)
* 2 p.m. Lester (3K-11K classic and skate, plus 3K skijoring loop)
* 4 p.m. Bagley (1K-3K classic only) or Chester Bowl (3K advanced)
* 4:45 p.m. Hartley (1K-5K classic only)
* 5:30-7 p.m. Dinner and program at Hartley Nature Center

For additional information or to register for the celebration at Hartley Nature Center, go to


Train for the pain

For those with the guts and gusto to sign up to torture … hem, hem … train themselves to run one of the races under the Grandma’s Marathon umbrella this summer, the annual Gearing Up for Grandma’s pre-race seminar will help whip runners into shape.

The seminar’s featured speaker is Carrie Tollefson, a Minnesota runner who was a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team in the 1,500 meter and fits in the running world like a foot in a sneaker.

Other speakers include Grandma’s Marathon medical director and Essentia Health orthopedic/sports medicine physician Ben Nelson, Essentia Health dietitian and diabetes educator Heather Pitschka and the owners of Tortoise and Hare Footwear, Jim and Mary Stukel.

The seminar is free and will take place from 9-11 a.m. March 1 at Essentia Health’s First Street building.

For more information, call (218) 727-0947.

Mentors, mentees to see ’Dogs at Amsoil

Nearly 250 participants in the Mentor Duluth program will be guests of honor at tonight’s University of Minnesota Duluth men’s hockey game when the Bulldogs and Colorado College face off at Amsoil Arena.

It’s the 15th annual Mentor Duluth Appreciation Night to honor the effort to match wiling adults with kids who need role models. Those in the program also will get free food at the game, be recognized during the second intermission, and will get to meet and receive autographs from the entire Bulldog team and Champ the mascot.

The event is made possible through donations from the alumni and friends of the UMD Sports Information Office. For more information on the Mentor Duluth program, please call program coordinator Dave Schaeffer at (218) 722-4745, ext. 118.

Twins ride for money

Word is, the Black Woods Blizzard Tour raised $760,000 to help provide treatment and care for people with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). (This is a preliminary number, as they still were tallying money brought in during the silent auction and banquet.)

The annual event included a three-day snowmobile ride through Northeastern Minnesota — and riders included Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who served as a tour host.

Pink the Rink with Hermantown, Superior

In an effort to advertise and raise money for breast cancer research and prevention, Pink the Rink is selling T-shirts that can give the wearer free admission to hockey games.

The junior varsity and varsity hockey games between the Superior Spartans and the Hermantown Hawks on Jan. 14 are part of how local money is being raised for the cause.

Regular T-shirts are $12 and dry-fit T-shirts are $15, and they can be purchased at the Superior middle and high schools. Whatever shirts are left will be available for purchase at the door.

Amsoil Arena tops list of first-rate arenas

Monthly print and online magazine Stadium Journey has released its list of the top 100 stadium experiences in 2013. Minnesota fared well, and Duluth even better.

Amsoil Arena, home of the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs hockey team, was ranked No. 1 across all sports and levels and called a “near-perfect college hockey experience.”

If this were some list of stadiums just in the Midwest, that would be prestigious enough, but considering Daytona International Speedway, home of the Daytona 500, came in second, and Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox and the fabled “green monster,” came in fifth, Amsoil Arena sure outdid itself.

Also included in the top 10 is the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, at No. 7. Mariucci Arena, where the Golden Gophers burrow, came in at No. 15, and Target Field, where the Twins call home, was No. 61 on the list. There was no mention of the Metrodome. Nope. Nothing at all on the home of Kirby Puckett and the 1987 and 1991 Minnesota Twins.



Running cold

Does running competitively in the Icebox of the Nation in the dead of winter sound fun to you? Good!

The 34th annual Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run is set for Jan. 18 in International Falls.

Faye Whitbeck, president of the International Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, distilled the run’s essence to a single statement: “If December temps are any indicator, runners will be striving this year to earn the motto: ‘Only the Bold Run the Cold.’ ”

The run is the featured event of Icebox Days, Jan. 16-19. In 2012 and 2013, about 300 runners hit the starting marks, organizers said.

Running in the Icebox not your style? There are other events to be had at Icebox Days, including Viking Bar’s smoosh race (a coordinated, team walk where four team members’ feet are strapped to boards for a collective walk).

Find smooshing too tame? What say you to toilet seat tossing, eh? Or, may-haps frozen turkey bowling?

Whatever your pleasure, the traditional chili cook-off is sure to return warmth to your frosty toes and noses.

Register for the 5K or 10K run or call the International Falls Chamber of Commerce at (218) 283-9400 or (800) 325-5766 for a registration form and information. Race course maps and the information packet will be posted on the website.

A plow plundered

This time of year is known for bringing out the best in some, and for some, it’s a time they would rather forget about. But there are more shades of gray than the black and white examples given. There are some who are ambivalent about the season and don’t think with context, outside themselves.

It’s not a huge deal — not in the context of the world’s issues — but a hand plow was taken from a rink on the corner of Waverly Avenue and Hardy Street on Tuesday evening.

Bob Fryberger took over care of the unofficial public skating rink from his father, who started it in 1947. In those many years, there has been nary an incident where Bob felt compelled to ask the community to help. But since the specially made hand plow was taken, Bob reached out.

He doesn’t want warrants, arrests, persecution. He just wants the hand plow back, so he can clear the rink and flood it with water. He wants to use his time to give the people in his community a place to strap on skates and fly around the ice.

No questions will be asked of whoever returns it. It doesn’t work on concrete, anyway, Bob says. “It bites too sharp. It needs an ice surface to work.”