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Almanzo Road Race hits Spring Valley

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 24th, 2013
Posted in Spring Valley Features

Bicyclists from all over the United States participated in this year’s Almanzo Road Race. Photo by Gary Peterson

By Gary Peterson, Mitchell Walbridge

As people gathered on the weekend of May 17-19 for Spring Valley’s annual WilderFest, many also participated in the seventh annual Almanzo Road Race.

This year’s Almanzo Road Race bicyclists set out from Spring Valley for a free 100 kilometer race through the gravel back roads of Fillmore County. Participants came from all over the United States for this event.

The founder of the the Almanzo Road Race is 35 year old Chris Skogen. Each year Skogen organizes the race. He even gave the Almanzo Road Race its name based on Almanzo Wilder, a character of the popular television show “Little House on the Prairie.” Almanzo Wilder was the husband of the famous Laura Ingalls Wilder.

In addition some cyclists continued the ride to the challenging Royal 162, a 162 mile race named after Almanzo’s brother, Royal. Seventy cyclists were reported registered to complete the Royal 162. Some even went on to complete the most challenging and longest distance, the Alexander 380 mile. Thirty cyclists were expected to take on the grueling Alexander 380.

Over the weekend there were also several foot races as part of the WilderFest celebration. One of the most popular races is the Abel Wilder foot race, named after Almanzo Wilder’s great grandfather. The Abel Wilder foot race is a distance of 100 mile. The race began at 5:00am and closed at 9:00pm, giving racers only sixteen hours to complete the more than 60 mile long route through scenic southeastern Minnesota.

The Almanzo Road Race, the Royal 162, Alexander 380, and the footraces are widely popular events in a beautiful part of southeast Minnesota as participants commented, “This is a beautiful city.” The city of Spring Valley is proud to host such large events with names that commemorate the area’s history.


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12:51:23, May 25th 2013

Christopher Tassava says:
Nice piece, but all of the distances listed are miles, not kilometers!