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1 year later: Kolstad surprises supporters, runs 5K a year after Mankato bar fight

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It has been a year since Isaac Kolstad suffered a severe brain injury after being knocked to the ground outside a Mankato bar, and on Saturday he surprised the people who have helped him through his recovery.

Kolstad wasn't expected to survive the injury, but he defied odds and has made a tremendous recovery since the May 11, 2014, confrontation – and at the at the Kruisin' for Kolstad 5K fun run Saturday, he showed everyone how far he's come by running in the 5K race.

Hundreds turned out for the event, which was held to raise money and support for Kolstad and his family, KEYC says.

He kicked off the race by walking the start with everyone else, he decided to run the race as well – and although he was last to start, he wasn't last to cross the finish line, KARE 11 reports.

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His wife, Molly Kolstad, wrote on his CaringBridge page about the anniversary of his injury, saying:

"We have gotten this far because of your support. We truly want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything, big and small, that you have all given us this last year. I can’t tell yet if this year has flown by or dragged on, I am still processing the approaching year mark on May 11th. It has just been incredible to feel and witness the uplifting we have received from this community."

Officials aim to improve safety

The Mankato Free Press took a look at what has changed in entertainment district in downtown Mankato area since Kolstad was injured about a year ago, among other alcohol-infused incidents in the city in recent years.

The newspaper notes intoxication levels of people mingling in the area are still high, but improvements in the area have helped with the safety of bar-goers, including: improved lighting in the area, an advanced camera system has been installed, and two officers have been assigned to work specifically in that area, which all have been put into place to help deter crime and other incidents.

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