Famous perhaps for the Coen Brothers movie, this small northern midwest town sits at the border of North Dakota and Minnesota. About 110,000 people live here, and the Marathon is a big deal. The woman sitting next to me on the flight said the race brings in a huge amount of tourism to the area. Nearly every hotel sells out, and she said that is worth the road closures.
The course itself loops from North Dakota State to the north for a short jaunt and then down south for the majority of the race. Effectively, the race parallels the Red River of the North. (The south one flows in Texas and Oklahoma and then into Arkansas and Louisiana before joining the Mississippi River.) However, I don't think we will actually see the water. Oh well.
So, had did this come about? Well, my friend Miri cooked up this plan. She and her friend Heather live in Minnesota and drove in. Why Fargo? Why not! They have bands every mile, and so far, everyone I have spoken to has been super friendly.
I've never been to North Dakota - state 45 in the books! - and it's another marathon state as well - reaching 7 for me now. 43 to go if I want to hit all 50 states. (Yes, runners track this stuff.)
This will also be marathon number 7 this year as I try to get myself all the way up to a 50 mile race. It will also be my 3rd in 4 weeks. So, like London, the time target is 3:50 - 4:00 or so.
Weather, as seems to be the norm in my races, calls for rain. Maybe thunder storms. Now, it's not raining but the distance is solid darkness. Windy as well. So be it. But what to wear?
A post race update will follow. And maybe I'll even post a report on London and my surprise May 1 marathon!