By Barbie Porter


Jason Ziegler is going to run 13 miles and he dislikes running altogether. 

The rural Frazee man is hosting the inaugural 13 for 13 fun run on Saturday, March 13 near Cotton Lake. The goal is to raise a minimum of $1,300 for area families hit hard in the pocketbook due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Contributed photo
Jason Ziegler, rural Frazee, is hosting the 13 for 13 fundraiser in rural Frazee. He will run from his home on Cotton Lake to a restaurant along Becker County Highway 29. In addition to regular exercise, he recently took a trip to Idaho for hiking with his daughter Cassidy. 

Ziegler’s path to running for a fun cause all started while he was getting into shape for an Alaskan moose hunt. 

“The hunt was in the fall of 2020,” he said, noting the hunt took him to boggy outback trails. “I wanted to be in shape to make sure, if during this trip of a lifetime, I was able to get a moose out, if I got one.” 

While he returned to Minnesota without a moose, Ziegler said his new found fitness lifestyle was something he wanted to keep. However, his destain for running made the activity less appealing. He decided if there was a purpose, or goal, then running might be more enjoyable.

“So, I concocted this crazy idea that on March 13 to run a half marathon, which is 13 miles,” he said, and the $1,300 fundraising goal played into transforming a traditionally unlucky number into one of good will.

It only took two days to surpass the $1,300 fundraising goal. Ziegler said all of the money raised beyond his goal will also be gifted to area families. Donations can be made by contacting Ziegler on Facebook.

Ziegler said the Cowboy Church located along State Highway 34 has offered “tremendous help” with identifying families in need.  

Anyone interested in joining the run can also contact Ziegler on Facebook. He has about 11 runners joining him. Ziegler, who is a part-owner of White Tail Properties, said there are sponsors available for up to 13 runners.

“Again, this isn’t a race, this is a fun run,” Ziegler said. “If you get tired you can stop and walk.”

If a blizzard whips its way into the area on the day of the run, Ziegler said the funds will be donated and the run will have to wait until the following year. 

“But, I plan to run unless its is 0 (degrees) and 30 mile an hour winds,” he said. “I’m running, unless it is not safe.”

Details are being worked out with volunteers to provide fruit and electrolytes at the half way mark, and to have a vehicle follow the runners in case someone needs assistance.

Ziegler said he will start running around 10 a.m. and expects to conclude at a restaurant along County Highway 29, possibly around noon.