Showing posts from May, 2013

A marathon of maniacs - Fargo Marathon 2013

Let me preface this just so you don't start thinking that running a marathon in Fargo is a hazard to your life. I will first say that marathon maniacs are generally decent people and non-violent. They like the challenge of zealously running marathons. It is a club of sorts with different levels of which you can attain through running lots and lots of marathons.
Well there were plenty of them in Fargo this weekend. And investigating further I discovered that it was perhaps these runners who started their race early. Becoming a particular level of maniac has a time component in which you need to run so many marathons. So instead of perhaps bonking out in the humidity- they started earlier.
Here is a blog post about the marathon from one nicknamed T-Rex.
 During my prep work for writing the post about the Fargo Marathon I check the registrants list to find people I know. I missed a few this year. I saw co-worker Kurt Fraser in the race- I think I even saw him at packet pick up. The…

The Last Few Miles - Fargo Marathon 2013

Although I was not anywhere near the finish, overall this was one good race. Sure the humidity was high a times and it was a bit wet in the morning but the race finished with a flourish not seen in Fargo since 2008 when Eric Sondag won. Sondag was on hand this year providing color commentary for the Forum's live blog.
Let's rewind back to the 4th mile. James Kirwa sped by followed by a bit of a space and then Chris Erichsen. And this was how it was for a majority of the race: Kirwa was holding a decent lead on Erichsen.

Near mile 18 when I saw the leaders again Kirwa had what I would guess to be a under a quarter mile advantage over Erichsen. The rest of the elite men were further back and actually one of them, Eric Chirchir, withdrew around mile 18. He looked to be favoring his knee. He was in 3rd at the time he withdrew and got carried away in a golf cart.
By this time I was thinking that a Kenyan runner will finally win the Fargo Marathon.
I thought too soon.
What I failed…

And the race goes on- Fargo Marathon 2013

Still dragging out this marathon. Probably because I did not get many pictures or find a theme.
No I did find a theme and I will get to those later.

Now onto to business.
After the elites then came the herds.
These are the halfies.
Apparently the man must be mistaken about this race- this is no beer run.
However, I am wrong. There was a beer garden at the finish line. Bizarre but I suppose it makes you forget all those pavement pounding miles.
 Looking through my pictures I then realize I had gotten a photo of a top beard a co-worker too- Jake.

What about the masses from the marathon?

My Mostly Finnish Spouse spotted a co-worker running the marathon incognito. People ran by and by. Even Chris Myers ran by. Now he is turning into a real Marathon Maniac. And apparently 2 members of the Emmy winning web series Intramural Glory, Mike McCue and Paul Unglaub ran by. But I must not have been paying attention. And I don't think Paul was in the series. At least on camera. I was. In…

A little wet and humid - Fargo Marathon 2013

My preparations for a morning of spectating and random coverage began at 5:30 AM. 
My crew zipped over to our race corner near mile 4 at 6:30 AM and set up the easy up tent in a light rain. Not much was happening until we started to see a few runners trickle by. And these were runners with official race bibs. No clue what they were doing. Too far from the Dome to be lost. I think about 2 dozen passed before either half or full officially started. We do know that a guy from Iowa ran the 10K by accident but eventually got on the right course for the marathon. Cris Estes would be proud. Apparently some entrants felt that because of the potential for high humidity in the later morn it would be better to start sooner than later. But perhaps they were slow runners who needed more than 6 hours to complete the course. This is the first time I ever encountered anything like that.
Let's go back in time for a moment before the race begins  to May 17th- inside the Fargo Dome.
As all the hubh…

The race is just the beginning- Fargo Marathon 2013

I am exhausted. I think ran the marathon. However, I did not. I spectated.
However, after spectacting in the early hours of morning I mowed the lawn then tilled the garden.
And all this is after spending most of Friday up at the Fargo Dome volunteering and watching my MFS run the 5K.
Rain may have put a damper on the 1st part of the race but the sun pulled out a major comeback by mid-morning. Yeah SUN!
I am much surprised and impressed that Chris Erichsen pulled out a victory in the men's marathon. Both times I saw him he was trailing in 2nd place.
Nichole Porath took the women's title. She had a commanding lead both a mile 4 and later around 18. I also got to check her in at the elite runner check in.
And Fargo's finest Eric Loeffler won the half. He continues to stand astride the top runners in the region.
But let's begin with my extended coverage of the races- beyond the races and to the intrigue.
This post will cover the "celebrities" at the 5K.

 For …

Another Freight Car Friday- It is good for you

A venerable operating reefer from early Post War Lionel. This one is in Ok shape. Doors are in bad shape and the figure who carries out the milk containers is missing.
This guy is heavy. The operating part has a lot of heft to it. I have not tested it yet because I have not set up my operating track piece yet.

Highlights from last year- Fargo Marathon 2013

Last year German Oliver Hoffmann was the first to finish the Fargo Marathon. Lisa Dyer won the women's title. Not much on the victors on the net besides their Fargo victories. I think Hoffmann may be lurking in the European track and field circuit. Dyer may still aspire to qualify for the 2016 Olympic trials. And we have a blog post from just after her victory. But then the blog is silent after Thanksgiving 2012.

Despite the cool weather in 2012 there was quite a turnout and spectators once again showed their Fargo friendly spirit.
Here's some highlights from last year.

It will be a little different this year so it should be an interesting race.

The heat is on - Fargo Marathon 2013

Could be the warmest Fargo Marathon this weekend. And there is a chance of thunderstorms. So who knows what could happen. Weather does that to you. I expected it to cool off a bit by weekend but forecasts have said "no."
Last year was a bit cool and wet so with the the "flood" course in place and warmer start this could be good one. Speaking of the route- it does not visit the Moorhead side of the river. However, there are plenty of stretches of this route where you can see the river and perhaps a little bit of Minnesota.

The Milwaukee Road path has returned to the course this time around. Marathoner will get to run on this path on the bottom of the route for miles 11, 12, and part of 13.
I hardly had time to research runners this year so I do not know any potential victors. The 'Net has been pretty mum about such things.
Casey Miller, Thomas Tisell are the only top 10 overall finishers from the marathon last year that are returning. Kyle Downs is running t…

Kicking things off with Estes- Fargo Marathon 2013

To continue to kick marathon week off let's revist that legendary interview of Cris Estes....

The legend goes that Cris ran the marathon course 3 times in one day at the 2009 event. No one is quite sure how he did it. Even he is a bit confused- mostly from runner's delerium.
In 2009 the route was re-routed into a loop- 2 loops was the marathon distance.
Perhaps we will catch up with Cris Estes this year as he plans to provide motivation to runners this years on the course.

Waiting for it to heat up - Fargo Marathon 2013

Race week is here. There is less flood than expected. But it is overcast.
Our late spring only peaks out once in a while.
Although it warmer now the temperatures will drop later this week into the weekend. But that is nothing to be concerned with the lows will be well above freezing. My only concern is potential showers on Saturday that could dampen things up a bit obviously.Still expect a cool start.
Only races still available to sign up for is the Friday Night 5K and the kids runs on Thursday.
You can sign up online for the 5K until Tuesday May 14th otherwise you can sign up in person at the Fargo Dome. The race currently has about 7000 entrants. Goal is 10000.
Fargo loves Boston is an underlying theme this year in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in April. Memorial bands are being sold and proceeds donated to One Fund Boston, a fund set up to help victims of the Boston bombings.
Media coverage should ramp up by mid-week. Most the news in the last few weeks has been ab…

Little Green Acme Boxcar on a freight car Friday

I acquired this green box car in a train lot I purchased on E-bay. It seems to be an unlisted car as I can find no information whatsoever about an Acme Explosives box car produced by Lionel. So we've got a mystery on our hands again.
Let's examine the car.
It is an all plastic affair. Kind of short and small compared to the 6400 series of boxcars from Post War. Everything barring the axel is plastic. Stickers for nameplates and graphics. No build date. No moving doors. No doubt this is a cheap car which possibly came in a set during the MPC era.
The only indication this is a Lionel product is raised stamped lettering on the coupler sider "Lionel 9000 Series."
This is our first bit of evidence to work. And nothing comes of it on the Net. However the mold of this car certainly resembles quite a few catalogued cars. The Toys R Us 9045 and the Hershey's 9041 must share the same mold. It also appears to be a close relative of the Post War era Baby Ruth x1004.