Fargo Marathon 2011: Victory over the rain

I was unsure after running the 5K in 26:44 whether the weather would be good the next day for the half and the full.
Well the weather was as good at it was last year. A little rain and some overcast skies. Really, it was a good day to run. The Forum reports  12,500 ran in the events on Saturday although the marathon website reports 22000 ran or walked in event held the entire weekend. I did not do a head count but there were a lot. The 5K was a herd.
Luke Watson took the men's crown and as others surmised Camille Herron won the women's marathon although without a PR or a course record. She blew past our 21st mile outpost. Recognizable name and Manitoba Marathon winner Cindy Sondag snagged 3rd. Looking at the results the women's race was just bit slower than last year.
 Herron bested the the nearest rival by 10 minutes. I was expecting quite a few more 2:40 finishes but alas it was not the day for that.
I am not sure I saw Watson. I may have but I didn't get the bib number off one the runners that went by. That photo is below Looking through the photos I seemed to have gotten picts of the half leaders instead.
However, my colleague and occasionally soccer team mate, Chris Hass, finished 20th in the marathon. Quite the accomplishment. He's also highest finishing Fargo resident in the marathon so he's the city champion although Erik Hanson from Moorhead finished at few places ahead of him. I didn't even remember seeing Chris go by. He sometimes wears sunglasses that obscure his visage. He ran the half here most recently and finished in the top 20. I was told by another co-worker of mine that he had some health trauma in the last year so I did not see him playing soccer much this year. I saw him a few times in winter training at the south arena. Rock it Chris, you now have bragging rights around here.
Another name that sticks out in the men's results is Janusz Sarnicki who finished 7th. This obviously Polish man of 45 years of age won the Rockford Marathon in 2009 but that he remains a top contender nearing masters age is incredible.
American educated Kenyan Hillary Cheruiyot took 3rd place. Serial Kenyan distance runner Obed Gisemba entered again and placed 10th. He had an interesting experience in a showshoe race last year.
I will also mention Chris Myers who came again to compete in Fargo for the 4th time I believe. Not an elite runner but nonetheless made up the 99% of runners who come to Fargo. He finished off this edition of the marathon in 4:10. We hi-fived at the 21st Outpost.
It was a fantastic time watching and ringing a bell for nearly 6 hours. The whole neighborhood blossomed into a party atmosphere. It was great day to spectate. The bands were an excellent addition. Out block had the this reggae group which looked as if Joaquin Phoenix was playing the keyboards in the back. Elvis was a few blocks south belting out his best. My only qualm was I was not sure at a moment's look whether somebody was running the full or half marathon. The staggered starts I thought would have helped but I got confused. I did eventually discover that the red text bibs were half and the blue text were full. They even said it on the bib.
I'll have more post race coverage later. The big theme for this year is beards. So you'll be meeting some marathon beards this week along with the rest of my unique coverage of the 2011 Fargo Marathon- it rocked! 


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