09 May 2014

10 years and tents : Fargo Marathon 2014

In tents
Well, we made it! 10 years. What a run it has been blogging this event! And I still think I am the only one providing exclusive coverage the big media misses. This year will probably involve a little less coverage due to a family crisis I am in the midst. Nonetheless, there will be coverage. Watch the twitter feed @suspect_bill for my quick takes.
10 years ago I was out in a slightly snowy morning in May keeping traffic out of the race route in Moorhead. A modest turnout of runners entered the inaugural event.  Now the event is massive. Simply astounding growth.
The event was born at a zeitgeist of running enthusiasm. So much that more local and region events were spawned and likely inspired by the Fargo event's growth. There is something like 3 or 4 new marathon or half marathons in the region too.
So for this tenth year the organizers brought it back to downtown Fargo. This made for quite a logistics challenge as the Fargo Civic Arena is nothing like the Fargodome. So for the tenth year a lot of pick up locations were in tents outside of the Civic Arena. Good for a warm day in Fargo but for a cold and windy evening like Thursday it felt like that day 10 years ago. Fortunately the weather warmed up on Friday.
Another challenge for downtown is parking. There simply is not enough accessible parking for all the runners and spectators. This a problem even without an event of the scope of the Fargo Marathon. A major parking ramp for downtown was torn down a few years ago without a plan in place to replace it. The newspaper (The Fargo Forum) spent an entire page detailing how to park downtown last week for the marathon. I think your best bet for marathon watching would be in the neighborhoods just north and south of downtown. And I might add- the atmosphere is friendly. You could always walk to downtown from there too.
Despite a few challenged, I think the organizers are up to the task of bringing the event downtown for this anniversary. I think that rings true to the motto the race director uses every year- "Let us run with perseverance!"  Without something challenging we would not need to persevere. So with 10 years under its belt the Fargo Marathon continues to persevere and allows thousands to run far, run fast, run flat and run friendly in Fargo.

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