Fargo Marathon

When I mentioned to friends, especially to those who grew up in or around North Dakota, that I was traveling to Fargo to run a marathon, the overwhelming response was “why?” Those who hadn’t been to Fargo before would invariably mention a line or two from the Coen Brothers’ movie. Despite the snickers, the Scheel’s Fargo Marathon has already gathered a great deal of positive word-of-mouth, in only its second year of existence.

Approximately 6,000 cheerful entrants in 4 events (marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, and 5K) eagerly anticipated the start in front of the Fargo Dome on Saturday morning, May 20. Skies were overcast, and we were doused by a brief shower, about 10 minutes before the 8:00 AM starting time. I was more concerned about the wind, which blew from north to south at 20-25 mph. We would have the wind at our backs for the first 10 miles, but we would be running into it coming back, if it persisted through the morning.

Sure enough, the wind kept blowing throughout what was otherwise a great day for a marathon. It seemed like entire neighborhoods turned out to volunteer or cheer on competitors. This year’s course, which meandered on bike paths along the Red River, and through charming commercial and tree-lined residential areas of Fargo and Moorehead, is generally flat and capable of producing fast times. My unscientific post-race poll seemed to indicate that quite a few participants achieved Boston qualifying times.

Fargo, ND Gallery

Downtown Fargo

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