Back to Hack is back in Hackensack

Former marathon qualifier wins fun run; Mrs. Minnesota International attends day's events

Fun Run (23).JPG
Decked out in proper running gear, former Boston Marathon qualifier Alan Christianson completed the Frostbite Ur Fanny Fun Run on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, during the Back to Hack celebration in Hackensack.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal
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HACKENSACK — Back to Hack was back in its full regalia for 2023 featuring newer events like a cornhole tournament and the return of the Penguin Plunge on Birch Lake.

Some jumpers at the 2023 Back to Hack Penguin Plunge on Birch Lake in Hackensack resurfaced with a look of regret Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023.
Contributed / 610Photo

As with most years, events Saturday, Jan. 14, started with the Frostbite Ur Fanny Fun Run where marathon qualifier Alan Christianson was the first to finish with a time of 15:22. Christianson was one of 38 registered for the run, a number nearly double the approximately 20 who have registered in the past.

Christianson was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Minnesota International 2023 Kirin Christianson, who attended and participated in the day's events.

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This year marked the triumphant return of the annual Penguin Plunge on Birch Lake, absent in recent years.

The day continued with many other events, including a fishing tournament, cornhole game, and concluding with a bonfire and fireworks after sunset Saturday, Jan. 14.


Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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