|Lovely, typical Fargo neighborhood|
The Fargo Marathon:
|Special lane to allow fast runners|
to pass slower ones. It didn't work,
I bet they'll do it better next year.
|No shortage of cute kids in|
the Fargo neighborhoods
The race is flat. We runners joked with each other about that a few times as we climbed up a bridge or out of an underpass, but the joke was over pretty quickly and we were back on the flat. This is a river valley, but it's a river that spreads out very wide when floods come. From the top of a stepladder you can see ten miles in any direction. I like flat - otherwise it's called "challenging," and 26 miles is challenge enough for me these days.
The race is well organized, too. We ran it in 2006, the marathon's second year, and it was well organized even then, presumably getting better every year since. We liked the expo, the packet pickup, the start, the finish, and especially the course.
|Motivational couch, beer included|
We ran through the downtown, along the river, and through neighborhoods with lots of cheering spectators. Never once did I feel any threat from vehicle traffic. The race is almost entirely on roads, closed to traffic, with the route clearly marked on the pavement in white spray paint. Fargo calls itself "City of Parks," and indeed we did run by several parks and right through a couple. We also ran smack dab through Concordia College, a main-line Lutheran college that's close to Ardis' heart as a Lutheran pastor.
- Shirt: "It seemed like a good idea 4 months ago."
- Shirt: "Toenails are overrated."
- Shirt: "I thought they said RUM."
- Sign: "Worst parade ever!"
- Couch occupied by men drinking beer, labeled "Motivational Couch."
- Table & chairs with people drinking beer, labeled "Drinking Team with a Running Problem."
- A whole band of bagpipers. I love bagpipes (I'm partly Scottish by birth and definitely by affinity.)
- Lots of other bands, though some had their loudspeakers turned up painfully high. I think there were as many bands in Fargo as there were in Nashville, a "Rock n Roll" marathon.
|These two have great sisters|
|Quite near the finish, actually|
My legs did feel a little fatigued already at mile six, which is too early in the race, but I suppose that was from the short two-week recovery. On the other hand I felt a resurgence of energy much later in the race, after twenty miles, which is quite unusual but most welcome.
|Happy Don in the last mile|
Splits: 12:18, 12:17, 12:10, 11:50, 12:15, 11:57, 16:55 (nature break), 13:01, 12:00, 24:00 (2 mi), 13:29, 11:43, 12:21, 12:19, 13:31, 12:11, 12:39, 11:51, 13:57, 12:01, 12:52, 12:37, 12:45, 12:15, 13:36 (cramping), 3:10 (0.2 mi), total 5:32:26 by my watch, 5:31:56 by the chip on my bib. Why the 30-second discrepancy? I dunno - my old watch seemed to work perfectly, and I think it's correct, but I won't complain.
Despite Ardis' painful joints, she and Sarah finished their half marathon within their time goal and had an enjoyable race. I hope they don't get tired of running marathons before I do.