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6/13/2008 2:00 PM

L-R, Karen Roos, Stacy DeCorsey, Nancy Antoine (back), Lisa Carlson, Lynn Hernandez
June 7, 2008 -- Celebrating its fifth annual running this year, the "Heart of the City" Half Marathon offered participants a course running largely through the city's beautiful, wooded park areas along Black Dog and Long Meadow Lakes, two of the lakes set in the middle of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, where coyotes, badgers, beavers and even bald eagles live side-by-side with the millions of residents of nearby Minneapolis just 10 minutes away.

Runners who volunteer to raise pledge donations for the event will qualify for extra prizes and gifts, as the race is run to benefit the local area's Tender Hearts Foundation, which provides programs that offer services and assistance to homeless and at-risk youth.

Five MESPA members ran the "Heart of City" 5K -- in Principal Power t-shirts. According to Stacy DeCorsey, it was "more giggling than running, but a great way to get pumped up for summer."

The running team was:
Karen Roos - Lakeville, Orchard Lake Elementary
Stacy DeCorsey - Jordan, Jordan Elementary
Lisa Carlson - District 196 (Eagan), Woodland Elementary
Nancy Antoine - Northfield, Bridgewater Elementary
Lynn Hernandez - District 196 (Apple Valley), Diamond Path Elementary