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MANKATO — The Mankato Marathon named its five charity programs for October’s 2017 race Tuesday.

Each year the marathon charities choose four runners to raise money for their causes. The runners raised nearly $31,000 last year, the most since the marathon started partnering with charities.

Four of the five charities will return from 2016’s race, including Camp Sweet Life Adventures, Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, Open Door Health Center and YMCA LiveSTRONG.

The marathon allows charities to stay on for a maximum of three years, at which point they must sit out for one year before reapplying for consideration. All four of the returning charities apart from Open Door will be in their final year of eligibility.

The fifth nonprofit for the 2017 marathon, Project for Teens, was a marathon charity from 2013 to 2015 before sitting out last year. 

Joelle Baumann, special events manager for Visit Mankato, said the charities raise the bar each year both in fundraising and in participation.

“It’s fun to see how creative they get with it and really promote that they are a part of Mankato Marathon,” she said.

Doug Jaeger, CEO of Open Door Health Center, said the exposure gained from being attached to the marathon will help just as much as the funding. Open Door raised more than $3,300 last year.

“It’s always trying to get more of that exposure to let the families of Mankato know who and what we are and why we’re here to help them,” he said.

Along with announcing the marathon charities Tuesday, race officials this week will open registration for the event Thursday. From Jan. 5-20, prices for the full marathon will be at their lowest — $48.

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArolaMFP.

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