Large turnout honors Bauer at annual memorial 5K

The annual Randy Bauer Memorial 5K Walk/Run in Coon Rapids had the largest turnout in its five-year history Saturday morning.

Sydney Huffman, 14, rode a tricycle in the Randy Bauer Memorial 5K Run/Walk Saturday morning.

Sydney Huffman, 14, rode a tricycle in the Randy Bauer Memorial 5K Run/Walk Saturday morning.

There were 135 pre-registrations for the event and another 30 people who registered Saturday morning.

Bauer was a teacher at Crossroad Alternative High School for eight years before cancer took his life in 2007.

“This is about a man we at Crossroads really loved,” said Dennis Olson, race organizer and a teacher at Crossroads.

“He was someone who loved what he was doing, no matter what it was, but he especially loved teaching.”

Indeed, Bauer was not only a teacher, but a marathon runner, competing in 19 Grandma’s marathons, including the 19th when he had cancer.

And when he was younger, he kayaked the length of the Mississippi River from its headwaters in Grand Rapids to the Gulf of Mexico.

Proceeds from the event are split in two.

Half go to the American Cancer Society for cancer research and the balance to providing Crossroads students with out-of-the classroom science-related experiences that would otherwise not be available due to budget constraints.

The race began across the street from Crossroads Alternative High School at the intersection of Coon Rapids Boulevard and Avocet Street and followed a loop course through the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

Crossroads teachers, former teachers and alumni were among event participants, while the 50 volunteers who worked the memorial event included current Crossroads students.

Prizes were awarded to top finishers in various age categories, while the first male and first female finishers each received a plaque.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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