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Memorial runners, riders mark anniversary of 'Dakota 38'

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Dakota 38 riders
Riders lead their horses along Riverfront Drive to the front of Reconciliation Park in Mankato, Minnesota, on Dec. 26, 2012, for the start of the Dakota 38 Memorial Dedication.
Jackson Forderer / For MPR News 2012

Dakota runners from the Twin Cities and tribal horseback riders from South Dakota and Minnesota will converge on Mankato on Friday morning to observe the anniversary of the largest mass execution in U.S. history.  Soldiers hanged 38 Dakota on Dec. 26, 1862, for alleged crimes committed in a six-week war the previous summer.

Dallas Goldtooth of the Lower Sioux community says the run has been going on for more than three decades. 

"One of the original intentions of this was a form of reconciliation," Goldtooth said.  "For Dakota people to kind of really process the historical trauma that was a result of the war of 1862.  And what happened there in Mankato with the mass hanging of the Dakota 38."

Dozens of runners left Fort Snelling at midnight.  They'll cover the 100 miles to Mankato in relays, arriving there Friday morning. Participants in a horseback ride that started in South Dakota earlier this month will also arrive in Mankato on Friday.