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Shorewood — St. Robert School has come up with a unique fundraiser idea that simultaneously feeds participants and raises awareness of the Catholic Church's little-known history with pretzels.

The school's first-ever "pretzel run" will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, on the Oak Leaf Trail. The 5K race will start and finish at Estabrook Park, where a fresh baked pretzel will be waiting for participants after the race. In addition to the timed 5K race, there will also be a 1.5-mile fun run/walk and a kids' dash for children ages 8 and younger.

The organizers of the event decided on the pretzel theme in recognition of the salty snack's historic connection to the Catholic Church.

Around A.D. 610, European monks developed a Lenten “bread” twisted in the shape of crossed arms, which was the traditional posture for praying. The pretzels were ideal for Lenten eating, as during that period, dairy and eggs were prohibited, and pretzels were made with a simple mixture of water, flour and salt. As the custom spread through medieval Europe, the pretzel’s three holes came to represent the Holy Trinity, and the twisty baked good became associated with good luck, long life and prosperity.

Event details and online registration are available at www.pretzelrun.org. Discounts are available to those who register prior to the race.

Registered participants will receive a Pretzel Run race t-shirt, 5K run results for the chip-timed course, a fresh pretzel and admittance to the post-run family social at the Estabrook Beer Garden and playground. Prizes will be awarded to the first place male and female 5K runner in each age group.

Proceeds from the Pretzel Run will support St. Robert School, which educates 300 students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade.

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