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Ragnar Relay Aug. 17-18 from Winona to Mpls.

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Ragnar Relay Great River, the 200-mile team relay providing a scenic "run up the river" from Winona (Minn.) to Minneapolis along the Mississippi River, announced a record number of attendees to the 2012 race, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 17, and Saturday, Aug. 18.

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Three hundred twenty-four teams and more than 3,400 runners from more than 40 states will take to the streets and trails of Eastern Minnesota and across the Mississippi into Western Wisconsin, running throughout the night over the 200-mile race. The event, part of the Ragnar Relay Series presented by Nordic Track, starts in the early morning hours on Aug. 17 in downtown Winona, with teams starting at different times from 5 a.m. all the way through the early afternoon hours.

Runners will cross into Wisconsin and then head north on the River Road through the towns of Nelson, Pepin, Stockholm, Maiden Rock and Bay City. From there, runners will venture away from the river toward Ellsworth, River Falls and Hudson before veering back across the river into Minnesota and finishing in Minneapolis at the East River Flats to a festive atmosphere featuring beer, music and gear for both runners and participants.

Seventy-two percent of runners in the race call Minnesota home, with another 14 percent hailing from Wisconsin. The participants and their family, friends and drivers are anticipated to generate additional business for local retailers as runners and their families visit restaurants, hotels and shops throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Due to the record number of participants and their respective vans of transportation, race officials want to alert resident and runners to possible traffic congestions throughout the course.

For more information on the 2012 Ragnar Relay Great River race, visit the race's website at www.ragnarrelay.com/race/greatriver.

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