Barreled out of work half-day Friday – destination: Fargo ND.

Chose not to run all week, resting a strained calf muscle – tricky strategy.  Feeling tired/looking haggard, arrived in North Dakota for my 7th consecutive marathon weekend.  Met my marathon room-share, Randy, for the first time.  Gotta say, sharing space with another runner was HUGE – saved $$ but more importantly, talking marathons was super motivational.

Bib pick-up at the FargoDome, Fargo’s largest landmark – we’d start & finish tomorrow’s race from NDSU’s arena stadium.  Randy inquired ‘bout pace groups – whether they’d have a 3-fifteen group.  3:15.  Way faster pace than I can ever hope to generate.

Foot-long sub & quick trip to the grocery store where Randy introduced me to Pedialyte.  Not tasty (not even a little) but chock full of electrolytes. AND this guy runs like the wind so I too purchased a liter bottle from the Baby section.

Up early Saturday, had already scoped a parking spot the night before.  Thanks Buffalo Wild Wings – ideal location 🙂

Cool sub-30 temps & sunshine.  More perfect?  Today’s run started inside the heated FargoDome.  FAAANNNNTASTIC!

Hats off for the National Anthem.  Kinda confused, looked around, removed my hand from my heart – Oh Canada?  In hind sight, it’s a pretty anthem – don’t know if I’d ever heard the words.  Just came as a surprise, running in North Dakota.  No worries; soon after ensued “The Star Spangled Banner” – Go USA!

Fargo Marathon Start!   Gun start reverberated inside the arena.

Exited the heated Dome, greeted by wind – initially took one’s breathe, woke the soul 🙂  Marathoned thru neighborhoods, greeted by residents sitting in lawn chairs, warmed by fire pits.

Lotta crowd support throughout the entire race – Fargo or Grandma’s (Duluth MN) rank as #1 in this category on my Quest.  Lotta Norwegian pride too – several homes flew native flags, immigrant farmers settled this area more than a hundred years ago.

Crossed into neighboring Minnesota near mile 9.  Ran thru Moorhead, university home of the Dragons.  Again, lotta music, lotta crowd support.  Beautiful campus.  Mile 15, passed back in North Dakota; fatigue hit 2 miles later.  Generally don’t hit the Wall ‘til miles 20 or 21, but hadn’t run in 7 days so struggled early.

Local bands were now playing at each mile marker.  Pulled out my buds & took in the day.  Sure, crazy tired but no shooting pain like last Saturday in Wisconsin – I could do this, one mile at a time.  Ran mile 25 thru North Dakota State (home of the Bison).

FargoDome finish.  FAN-FRICKIN-TASTIC!   29th state, end of my 7 week challenge – PLUS pizza & free showers 🙂

Race Directors: If you’re looking to increase participant numbers, look to Fargo.  Well organized event – beginning to end, a runner’s race. Awesome crowd support.  Only have good things to say ‘bout North Dakota.

 

Dear K R Haga,
Thanks for competing in the Fargo Marathon, you finished in a time of 4:33:31

 

 

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