I had been planning on signing up for this race when we went to good friends’ wedding in November. I had been talking about the race and some other friends said they were interested in running the race, too. As we enjoyed more drinks at the wedding the number of people who said they wanted to run increased. It was interesting to see people jump on board, committing to run their first or second or third half marathon.
By the time race weekend came the numbers had dropped. There were only three of us. Some had legitimate excuses like coaching baseball tournaments or recently birthing a child, but others not so much. Oh, well, the three of us that did run had a blast. We now have jokes about knowing where to stop to pee, lactose intolerance, Carly Jepson and Call Me Maybe, and Brady’s fingernails. Admittedly, I had “dropped” my commitment, too. I had originally signed up for the full marathon, but life just got in the way and I had to switch to the half. Even the half might have been interesting as I only had ran three times in the month before the race.
The two guys I went with were from Minnesota, so we met there and headed across the state of 10,000 lakes. I had never been to North Dakota before and I could not get over how flat it was. You could see forever. I just couldn’t grasp what people said until I saw it for myself.
We arrived in Fargo Friday afternoon and headed to the expo at the Fargodome. The packet pickup up was more than I expected, the shirts were awesome, and we got neat race bags. I splurged on some new running gear that the local Fargo running store was selling at the expo. That night and we enjoyed a prerace meal at Olive Garden. Shortly after dinner we realized we had no safety pins to pin our race bibs onto our clothes. Either we missed that part of the packet pickup or they were not in our bags, so we set off on what we thought would be an easy search for safety pins.
Apparently we were NOT the only ones with no safety pins. We were met by a couple dozen people at Target also searching for safety pins only to find out by Target workers they had sold out an hour ago. Our next stop was Walgreens. Again, we were met by several other people looking for the same thing. Inside we were lucky to get the last package. It is often the little things that turn into big things when it comes to pre-race stress. In the end it all worked out fine.
Race morning arrived. I was well rested and excited to run what I’d heard was a fast and fun course. I opened the curtains of my hotel room and the biggest, darkest storm clouds greeted me followed by lightning. To add to it the wind was whipping and it was raining. Oh, joy! I had not packed rain gear. I got ready to go while watching the Weather Channel, a prerace necessity. I met the guys at their room ready to run. By this time it was not raining anymore, but we were in the middle of a horseshoe shaped storm system. We decided to abandon the shuttle plan and drive to the race in case it was delayed. Traffic was jam packed giving me plenty of time to add my name to my race bib, and we made it just in time.
There was only one way we wouldn’t get rained on-if the storm system moved north, not northeast, northwest, west, east, or south. Luck was on our side when the horseshoe shaped storm moved NORTH. It was dry, overcast, and cool for the entire race-just the way I like it! The course was flat and fast. There was fun entertainment sprinkled throughout; finishing in the Fargodome with your picture on the jumbotron was pretty cool, too. I had a lot of fun knowing friends were running the race at the same time. I don’t have friends or family who run, so it was the first time I had done a race with friends.
I was not in shape for a PR and with my RunKeeper app getting all messed up I wasn’t sure my pace for most of the race. I was just looking to have fun with friends at this race, which is exactly what I did. Tooch ran a great and fast race as he usually does. It was super exciting to be a part of Brady’s first half marathon. His goal was under 2 hours and he was bummed to miss his goal by seconds. His Garmin didn’t match the race time or else he said he knew he would have met it. He thought he had two minutes to spare. So frustrating, but the good thing is he had fun while he was doing it. That usually means more races are in the future 😉
Fargo Half Marathon