Fargo Marathon 2009: A whole lot cooler than you expected

A real cool morning welcomed runners and myself during the 5th Fargo Marathon. There were some brave souls who went sleeveless and even one who wore what appeared to be only a towel.
The news on Eric Sondag was he's a bit too injured to have prepared for the marathon distance. That is actually one of the reasons I have used not to do the marathon here. I still run but rarely do any monster distances.
Results are not posted on the marathon website yet to see how Eric did in the half (if he ran the the half at all). So this year the Marathon champ is Minnesotan Peter Gilman in 2:25.54. (course record!) He bested 4 Kenyans to win top honor for the men. I'm not sure if he was rated for the event. The Internet is coming up blanks- there was one link that said he was dead. Nix that, I found an interview with him from 2006. Apparently he ran the Chicago Marathon in 2:20. Very good.
On the female side of the world, Grinell gradate Nicole Cueno took the top honors in the marathon with a 2:52.16 time. Found an interview with her done by the same guy who did Gilman's. 2:42 is her PR and she ran in the women's Olympic Marathon Trials at Boston last year. I think she may also have been in a copy of Runner's World I had. Shoot! I could have had her autograph it but alas I recycled it months ago.
Chris Myers, who I mentioned last night, may have finished just a shade above 4 hours. I am not sure until official results get posted. I saw him come in around 4:20 clock time but he may have been delayed started by almost 20.
My manager at work and a few co-workers also took part. My manager ran the marathon for the 5th time and Jeff, Kevin, Unknown girl (who I think is named Trish) and Katie ran the marathon relay. Santa also ran in the marathon. A disabled veteran on crutches did the half marathon.
Food this year seemed average. Lots of bread. It was about the same as I had when I ran the Lewis and Clark Marathon. No gluten free this year.
Trophies were very unique as they were handmade in Fargo from clay. Hopefully it was clay that was used as a dike.
I took plenty of video footage as well as still shots so there might be a youtube video coming in the future. Photos are forthcoming.
I'll try to post more later. I've got to cover the big party and the Mytery of Edwin Drood.


Eric said…
Interesting that you wondered whether Pete Gilman was 'rated' or not. I bet a lot of other people wondered that, too!

Between the Fargo Marathon's weak promotion of the elite field and the Fargo Forum's shallow analysis and exploitation of the Kenyan's stories, it's no wonder the public has very little understanding or appreciation of the running events on an athletic level.

The runners you didn't read about in the days leading up to the race were Pete Gilman (1st, course record by 6:02!) and Kelly Mortenson (6th), both of whom are Olympic Trials Marathon qualifiers (2008 for Pete and 2000 for Kelly). Kelly also ran college track for Moorhead State, another athlete with a local connection you didn't read about! Speaking of local standouts, you probably haven't heard about Fargo's own Eric Loeffler, either. He was 3rd in the half marathon, having run neck and neck with Jacob Kendagor(4th) until 150m from the finish, where he kicked past Kendagor to secure the final spot on the podium! An epic race and finish you will only read about here!

There are plenty of stories like this from the last five years, but unfortunately they are not being shared with either the running fanatics or the casual fan. It's very disappointing to me as a supporter of the Fargo Marathon, and as a running enthusiast to see such simplistic, unbalanced coverage of what has become one of the premier sporting events in the F-M area.

I had a great run in the half with my wife, who ran a 2+ minute personal record and was fifth in the half marathon. It was about the most exciting and fun training run I think I have done in 20+ years of running! I can't say enough about the fans, the police, fire, and EMS workers, and the volunteers...they make the race one of the best run and supported in the U.S., and I'm grateful to have such an opportunity in North Dakota, close to home. Cheers.

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