05 April 2011

This flooded horizon: Fargo Marathon 2011

Another flood continues to descend upon the region. A bit later than previous but that gave us more time. Sandbag dikes are going up this week. I think the crest of around 40' is forecasted for April 10th.
The photo at the right is from almost a month ago. The snow was nearly gone but then-wham! Another snow storm and then another and another. Not sure how much snow we got this winter. Someone told me something close to 7'.
In the long term, flood mitigation plans seem to be gaining opponents. The current plan on the table- the diversion with water retention- has critics north, south and west coming together to stop this idea. Changes have been made to address "downstream" communities but apparently it is not enough. The whole process appears to be heading into a Garrison Diversion-like conflict in which there is a possibility that not one drop of the Red River will be stopped from overwhelming the Valley during a flood. We are a hardy people and would accept it and that is that.
I think that the smaller communities don't want what they think is a Fargo problem flung upon them without them having their concerns heard. And now it is a ping pong game of sorts between the proponents of a diversion and the opponents of it. My only misgivings are that the opposition doesn't have an alternative plan. So what I hear from them is anything except a diversion.
But this was not supposed to be an entry about the flood. It is about the Fargo Marathon which is coming in another 6 weeks on May 21st. I will be there to cover it and run in it. I'll be running a 5k for the first time in years. Of course I'll also be embedded in the midst of the event and hopefully will have access to some live blogging tools. I think I am the only blog that covers the marathon.
Last years men's winner, Chris Erichsen, will not be returning to defend his title. However, Chris did win his 2nd marathon 2 weeks ago in Virginia Beach's Shamrock Marathon in less than ideal conditions. Chris credits Fargo with helping him weather the winds. He also made an Olympic Trials qualifying time of 2:18:40. Quite impressive. He'll be running in the Olympic Trials later this year. Here's an interview with him.

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