Coming into the race, I’m feeling good. I know I’m in excellent shape, but I haven’t had a race since a half-marathon I decided to run two days beforehand on very little training in February. Coming in, the goal was to finish somewhere between 1:30-1:32. On race day, though, I kind of threw that out the window. I left Perham at 5:00 AM (!!!) to go pick up our race packets by 6:30. Once we got our race packets, my dad and I sat in the van in a parking lot about a block away from the start and watched the crappy, rainy weather for about an hour and a half. He had to listen to me complain that “this is going to suck” the whole time. About five minutes before I headed over to the start line, the rain just stopped. It was still cold and windy, but I could deal with that much better.

1) 7:04 – I had wanted to go out in about 7:30-7:40 so I was a little worried I had went out too hard. The first mile was kinda cool, though, with the highlight being some random band playing a cover of Chariots of Fire outside of the Fargo Theater.

2) 6:49 – I saw a friend, Nick, who’s from my former hometown. I know he’s quite a bit faster than me, so I figure I’d tuck in behind him for a while. I actually spent about the next two miles behind him before I talked to him for about five minutes and pulled ahead.

3) 6:47 – I’m very surprised there are as many people outside as there are considering it’s cold and windy, plus this is the inagural Fargo Marathon.Anyway, this was my fastest mile of the marathon which makes sense because it’s straight, flat, and I have the wind completely at my back.

4) 6:59 – My 21:26 split going through the 5k would’ve been good enough for third place overall in the 5k. While the 5k field obviously wasn’t super competitive, part of me wishes I would’ve ran it. I would’ve won a few bucks in gift certificates to Scheels. I most certainly could use all the coin I can get my greedy little paws on! I should mention that for part of this mile I got to see the leaders on the other side of the street. Holy crap they are way out ahead of me!

5) 6:57 – I’m still keeping the splits under 7’s which is great. I’m actually feeling really good. As I noticed the watch on this mile, I realized that I had a new 5-mile PR by one second. Kinda cool but I’m also wondering if I’m setting myself up for a miserable finish to the race.

6) 7:03 – Hello wind. For now, I’ve been completely running with the wind to my back, but as we round a corner right after the 5 mile marker, I am introduced to a brisk wind right in my face. Little did I realize that this little wind would become my arch nemesis over the next few miles. I’m still feeling alright and the mile splits are respectable, though.

7) 7:07 – This is the first mile I don’t remember feeling very well. I’m happy, though, because we’re about to hit Lindenwood Park which has some pretty decent tree cover. Plus, I first started running a little over two years ago while up in college at Moorhead and the Lindenwood 10k route was the route I used to run pretty much every day.

8) 6:57 – I was feeling absolutely great this mile. I think a little break from the wind gave me a little extra motivation and a little extra spring in my step.

9) 7:00 – To be honest, I’m kind of surprised I’m still running as well as I am here because the cold weather and the wind has me frustrated. I haven’t had a race since early February, though, so I’m motivated to prove to myself (and whoever else cares) that I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I keep saying I’m in great shape, but I don’t want to be like the boxer who you hear saying he’s in great shape only to get knocked out early in the second round. Right now, the wind is playing the role of “left jab” and I’m playing the role of “punching bag.”

10) 7:53 – If you were to just look at my split times, could you guess which mile I was the most affected by wind. I was absolutely ticked off after this mile because if I would’ve ran it in 7:08 or better, I would’ve broken 1:10 for a 10-mile for the first time. As it is, though, I set a new 10-mile PR by 1:13 which isn’t bad.

11) 7:15 – Saw my dad standing by the bar that formerly was Kirby’s on the Corner. He ran the 5k hoping to break 33-minutes and he actually ran 29:44. Good for him! I also ran by my old college house. It was kinda cool thinking about all the good memories I had in the house. Of course, I also thought about the ridiculous heating bills we used to have to pay because our landlord didn’t have any insulation in the roof of the house.

12) 7:05 – Again, got a little break from the wind for the first half of a mile. This course actually pretty much followed the course of my first ever 5k. I remember thinking that was the absolutely hardest thing I’d ever done. I almost threw up afterwards…

Last 1.1) 7:56 – Besides the weather, my only complaint about the inagural event was the fact that they didn’t have a 13-mile mark. I usually like to kick the last 0.2 – 0.3 of a race and I really didn’t know where the finish was. I rounded the corner and finished very strong, but I would’ve liked to have known where the finish was. Part of it was obviously my own fault, but it would’ve been nice to have a 13-mile mark as well.

Chip time – 1:32:53 (a new PR by 1:41)

Overall, I thought the inagural Fargo Marathon went great. I heard no horror stories about running out of water or people running the wrong direction. Someday, I’ll probably run the full-marathon, but the wind and weather of early May is always going to be a huge question mark. Congrats to the race directors on putting on a fine event, though. I’d highly recommend checking it out next year to anyone who’s remotely interested. My next race is in three weeks. I’m heading out to Helena, MT to visit my buddy Cory and I’m going to make an attempt at running the Governor’s Cup half-marathon. It will be my first experience running in the thin mountain air, so it should be interesting. By the way, I apologize for having no pictures of this race. I didn’t want to bring my nice digital camera out when it was kinda rainy out… hopefully y’all understand!

If you’re out on your bike tonight, do wear white,