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Hale to the Bird tops 600 runners in Cottage Grove

Runners take off for the eighth-annual Hale to the Bird 5K on Thanksgiving in Cottage Grove. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 6
A Hale to the Bird runner gets festive on Thanksgiving. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 6
Gary and Deb Meade of Cottage Grove were easy to spot in the Hale to the Bird 5K. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 6
Dan Polski crosses the Hale to the Bird finish line in first place at 18 minutes, 41 sections. Polski, of Maplewood, celebrates Thanksgiving with his in-laws in Cottage Grove. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 6
Laci Provenzano crosses the finish line as the first female in the Hale to the Bird 5K. She finished in 20 minutes, 6 seconds. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 6
More than 600 people took part in the eight-annual Hale to the Bird 5K on Thanksgiving morning at Hamlet Park. Scott Wente / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 6

More than 600 runners started their Thanksgiving with the Hale to the Bird 5K in Cottage Grove.

The Thursday, Nov. 23, race drew 623 participants, the most yet in the event's eight-year run at Hamlet Park.

Hale to the Bird raises money and donations for the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park. Adam Elling, who organizes the run with his brother Matt Elling and friend Tim Maurer, said last year's race brought in $6,000 for the food shelf.

"Hopefully we can raise that again," he said.

Final fundraising numbers will be available in the coming days.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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