Music, Running and Elvis

Are you a runner?  Do you enjoy good music?  Then the Fargo Marathon is a destination for you.  Rock and roll bands, high school bands, Indigenous drummers, various DJ’s, and even Elvis can be found along the route.  

In May 2017, Fargo, North Dakota celebrated their 13th year of their famous Running and Rocking Marathon.  It started on a Thursday and finished with the grand finale on Saturday with the full marathon.  (Sorry local drivers.)   There are races of various distances for every type of runner, including the youth run, relay, 10K, half and full marathons.  Also included was the Furgo Dog Run and Cyclothon.  And did I mention that Fargo has the best medals!

It is a fast, flat and friendly run.  With almost no elevation changes and thousands of cheering spectators along the way.  If you are more serious runner, this is also a Boston Marathon qualifier. 

These are some of the fabulous features.

  • The pre-race Expo offered everything an athlete could want or need, including running gear, shades and shoes.   There were many free samples to check out including new-fangled vitamins and don’t forget to pick up a bag or two of the famous Old Dutch potato chips.  After all, you need to load up on your sodium the night before.
  • We noticed that the timing devise was smaller, so you can go faster.  It’s just a thin strip of foam.  It is not something extra that you need to tie on to your shoes or worry about.
  • Be sure to book your accommodation 8 to 10 months in advance, as hotel rooms fill up quickly.  Expect the rates to be higher than normal.  Some hotels offer a special full, hot breakfast starting at 5 am for the early birds.  Meals are high in carbs and protein.  Some hotels even give out free gift bags to runners in appreciation of their hard work.  The place we stayed at must have been managed by a runner, because breakfast was better than home and enough to fuel 26.2 miles!  The gift bag, which consisted of bottled water, fresh fruit and an energy bar, was also appreciated!
  • Spectators can rent a bike and follow the runners from Downtown to the Fargo Dome.  The cost is only $4 and 100 bikes are available.  They even have the B-Cycle App to get directions.
  • Abundant water, Powerad and free jell stations lined the course with thousands of cheering fans along the way.
  • Catch a shuttle at West Acres Shopping Mall or another location and let someone else take care of the driving and parking.  Friends or family can pick you up at the finish line or let the shuttle take you back.
  • The beginning and ending of the big races take place inside the Fargo Dome.  It is great for bad weather, but you will feel like you are with a herd of cattle inside a massive chute.  You will also need to be outside before you can start your timing device.
  • As you are near the finish line there is a live video camera outside the arena, so your cheering section can see you coming and get their cameras ready as you sprint the last 50 meters to the finish line.  Look up high and you will see yourself cross the finish line on a massive screen.
  • Hot showers are available at the finish line to complete your day.
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough, hot pizza and free beer for marathoners were an added bonus.

I have completed the half marathon 3 times and another family member has run 10 full marathons.  We highly recommend this experience!

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