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With a week full of events, the Fargo Marathon will have something for everyone. From the Cyclothon, Furgo Dog Run, Largest Kid’s Race, 5K Walk/Run, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon Relays, there is a distance for all!
For the last 2 years, I have made the venture to Fargo North Dakota for Marathon weekend. Both times, it was because work sent me there to work the expo. So in normal Crazy Hamster fashion, I worked Thursday and Friday, then got up early on Saturday to run the half marathon before driving home. This race quickly became one of my favorites, hence why I have run it more than once!
Now, before you all start wondering if I have completely lost all my marbles, NO. I am NOT actually running the Fargo Half Marathon again this year. This year, the race falls only 2 weeks after I will be able to start running again. I am listening to doctors, my body and my coaches and giving myself time to heal.
HOWEVER, once I found out that BibRave was partnering with the race this year, I knew I could still be involved with this awesome race! As I mentioned above, there are several different events that take place throughout the week, but for this post, I will focus mainly on half/full and events on race weekend. For information on the Cylothon, Furgo Dog jog and other events during the week, head on over the the Fargo.com website for all the information!
What makes this race so epic that people travel from all over the world to run it? Plain and simple, it’s Fargo!
Ok, I know you want more than that, so here goes
1. Epic Finishers Bling! Each and every year, the medals are awesome! The 1st year I ran the half, the medal was a spinner.
Last year it was large, bright and colorful and was representative of the 15 year anniversary of the race! The Full Marathon medal was even bigger!
I can’t wait to see what this year’s medal looks like (I am sure that I will be bumming that I can’t go back and earn it again this year).
Looking for extra bling? They have a challenge for you! Run/walk the 5k on Friday evening and then either the 10k, half marathon or full marathon on Sunday and earn the GO FAR Challenge medal! I have never been able to take part in this challenge as I am always working the expo while the 5k is happening, but I have seen the medal, and I will admit, I’m slightly jealous!
2. The race swag! Yes, I love the medals, but for me the swag can be just as important! You can’t wear your race medal wherever you go for months after the race (well, you can, but people will probably give you strange looks). We all know that, as a runner, you have a drawer (or 3) of shirts that you never wear. They eitehr never fit quite right, are a color you will NEVER wear or you just plain forget about them. Fargo Marathon goes one step further! The last 2 years, Half and Full Marathon participants received sweatshirts that were down right THE BEST! Give me a sweatshirt and I’ll wear it proudly. Give me a sweatshirt that is soft and comfortable, I’ll wear it ALL THE TIME! These sweatshirts are always in the rotation and I probably wear them every few weeks!
To add to the swag, they also give all participants a drawstring bag. Now this is not your run of the mill drawstring bag! This bag is a heavier weight fabric with a a thick drawstring and 2 zippered pockets! This event draws in about 8,500 participants between the half and full marathon and I can tell you that I have seen these drawstring back at events all over the country when I travel! Everyone loves them and I can attest to their durability! I use mine ALL the time and both bags have held up extremely well!
3. The Fargodome!! When it comes to race weekend, ALL events are centered around the Fargodome! Here you will find the expo as well as the Start and Finish line for all races! The 5k on Friday evening starts and finished right outside the dome, so you can come and pick up your race packets and get in evening run without having to drive anywhere! All of the vendors for the expo can be located all around the concourse inside the dome! Anything you could need, may have forgotten at home and those things you never even knew you needed for your running adventures can be found at the expo!
All events on Saturday start and finish INSIDE the Fargodome! No waiting outside in the cold or the wind (yes this is Fargo, it WILL be windy!) In 2019, the start inside the dome was especially nice, as we drove to the race in the pouring rain! Thankfully the rain let up a little and there was no lightening, so the race went off without issue, but standing outside in the cold and wind would have really made for a ugly start to the day. Right on the main floor of the dome, you will also find gear check, live music and even bounce houses for the kids!
4. The Course. While the majority of the course follows the neighborhood streets of Fargo, the course features one thing that most runners can get behind… it’s flat. Ok, yes there is the occasional overpass that you go over or under, but overall this course if FLAT! I think last year I had a total of less that 100ft of total elevation change from the highest point to the lowest point on the course!
5. Post race food! After running 13.1 miles, I’m usually ready for food when I finish! As soon as you cross the finish line and get your medal, you will find yourself directly in line for food! Yup, you cross the finish line on one side of the floor of the dome and by the time you walk around to the other side of the main floor, you will find food! Here you will find everything from the traditional fruit and bagels but you will also find pizza, nutter butters, chocolate milk, water, and even cookie dough!
So, I hope that this gives you some inspiration to give the Fargo Marathon a look! There is always something special going on with this race! last year, one of my friends was there running her 100th Marathon, so it was awesome to see her both before the race as well as on the course! Once you run this race once, you will learn how special and memorable it can be! Plus you never know what you might see!
In 2018, I ran part of the half marathon with a guy dressed up in a squirrel costume…
but in 2019, 15 minutes before the start of the marathon, there was a wedding! Yes, you read that right! There was a wedding! On stage, at the start/finish line! After the short ceremony, surrounded by a few thousand of their newest friends, the couple ran the marathon together! Now that’s one way to start your life together!
If you want to check out more of my experience in Fargo, here is the link to my recap from 2018. Apparently I never did a recap from 2019… probably because of the rain… or maybe just because I was too busy running all over the country to sit down long enough to actually post anything LOL
I’ll be back in a few weeks with more tips and ideas for you trip to Fargo, so please be sure to check back! In the meantime, check out the website for more information on everything! When you decide that you NEED to mot miss out on the fun, be sure to use discount code SAVE5 to save yourself $5 off any event!