16 May 2009
And marathoning grows in the region
Seems like the success of the Fargo Marathon may have created 2 new races and revived another. Or perhaps the increased interest in running the big distances among Americans is showing itself in the Upper Midwest.
May marathoning in the northland, as Fargo Marathon participants can tell you, is not for the feeble or faint at heart. To train to race condition, many begin their training just as they take down the Christmas decorations. [I just run in circles most of the year.] Weather in May can be pleasant or it can be a bear. The running of this year's Fargo Marathon was definitely on the bear side. Fortunately the snow did not fall. I was on traffic duty the first year and snow fell a bit during the 1st half hour after the start.
Two new marathons across the border in Minnesota will be run in May. The first, next weekend, will be in Stillwater. That's not far from my hometown. Anytime Fitness Stillwater Marathon will be run on Sunday morning May 24. I may be nearby and might try to cover some of the event. The terrain in Stillwater is scenic but there certainly will be a few elevation changes. As a child I always remember the steep hill that took you down into Stillwater. To me this could be a pretty decent event.
The week following, the folks who brought you the Monster Dash (Twin Cities Halloween themed 10k, half, etc.) will be putting on the Minneapolis Marathon. This is not be confused with the venerable Twin Cities Marathon run in October. This event seems to have plenty of incentives to get people registered. This one is run on a Sunday morning too. [What is with this early Sunday start for these marathons in the Twin Cities?] The route follows the Mississippi River to near Fort Snelling and then comes back. Plenty of riparian scenery to be had and elevation changes of up to 60 ft.
A marathon in Bismarck has been going on for who knows how long. The YMCA had been the chief organizer up until a few years ago. Now the Kroll's Diner Bismarck Martathon is run by some experienced competitive runners from the area. I saw a brochure in Fargo and noted they are touting themselves as North Dakota's friendliest marathon. The PR had similar feel to that of the Fargo Marathon adverts. I read lots of positive press about the race in Bismarck- especially the organization. Bismarck's event is run in August.
2 other marathons in the region which I didn't mention are of course Grandma's and the cross country-like Walker North Country Trail Marathon. Many are familar with Grandma's Marathon so I'll skip to the North Country Trail one [I'll refer to it as the NCM]. NCM is plenty small. No more that 1000 are in the event which traverses through small towns and into the woods. I've been in those woods. I should probably do this one. And one sad note- I believe someone perished on the course a number of years ago. There is a memorial at the mile marker I believe.
That's all for now.