The Fargo Marathon has finally come and gone, and Team Swanson has all lived to tell its tale. The common theme from their combined experiences--shocker--was the weather. It stormed throughout the night leading up to the big day, and as the morning progressed it turned increasingly warm and humid... not your ideal running conditions. But training seemed to pay off well for everyone. Take one last look back at the 2013 Fargo Marathon... then it's on to 2014!
Nathan—Half Marathon Runner
13.1 miles complete! Did I “PR?” No, but looking back I am happy with how the race went. As we stood in the starting chute and took a moment of silence for the events at the Boston Marathon and sang our national anthem, the rain came down. The outlook for the weather wasn’t looking great all week and although we hoped the meteorologists were wrong, this time they were right.
The early miles of the race went by fairly quickly as everyone was trying to find their stride. I knew I was close to being on pace for a finish time of 1:35 as miles 5, 6, and 7 rolled by, but also knew the hardest miles were ahead of me. As I crossed the marker for mile 8, my achilles/calf tightened up in my right leg. I had been experiencing this in the last two weeks of training and took it easy to hopefully fix it. I knew that stopping to stretch wouldn’t help much as I had tried this in my training runs. I decided to just put my head down and do the best I could.
As I quickly realized I wasn’t going to hit my goal time as my pace had slipped to 8 min/miles, I decided to enjoy and embrace the last few miles. As I entered the entrance to the Fargodome (which is my favorite finish of all the races I’ve done), the finish line was near and I saw 1:42 and change. As I crossed the finish line, I realized I had not achieved my goal time, but I was proud as I had completed another half-marathon, which is never an easy accomplishment.
Post-race festivities for me always include watching others finish and taking in as much water, chocolate milk, and food as my stomach will allow. This race was a step along my journey to run more marathons and I already can’t wait for the Sioux Falls Marathon in September. You can read my full race recap or follow my running journey here. Enjoy!
Kurt—Half Marathon Runner
My half marathon ended up going well! I ended up finishing with a time of 1:41, which was 11 minutes off my goal time of 1:30. Since it was my first marathon, I’m very happy with the results.
The race itself was a lot of fun. Adrenaline ran high as I was surrounded by thousands of other runners. There was a bit of rain at the beginning of the race which actually helped cool me off quite a bit. I foolishly neglected to listen to everyone’s advice about not burning myself out right away by running too fast – my first couple miles were around 6 minutes, and it was too late before I noticed I’d exhausted my legs way too early. Still, I never stopped to walk and I didn’t dip below an 8 minute/mile pace.
Everything seemed to going pretty well until I hit mile 9, where it was nearly impossible to avoid the exhaustion in my legs. I’m still not quite sure what pushed me through to the end other than sheer determination. The last couple miles were a challenge but I knew I was ok since I was so close to the finish.
Crossing the finish line was a euphoric feeling, as the announcer called my time and the stands were full of people cheering. Runners were meeting at the finish, congratulating each other and getting some much needed hydration. I’ll never forget the feeling I got from finishing the race. I might need a couple weeks before I even think about the next marathon, but I know for sure I’ll be back to do it.
Chris—Half Marathon Runner
I had a great time in this year’s half marathon. It was filled with thousands of people, family, friends, bands, people in all kinds of costumes, runners from all over the place, nasty humidity and the burning desire to get this thing over with!
The atmosphere and the crowds/support are top notch. I finished this year 8 minutes under last year, which surprised me since I was running with a knee brace for the first time. Overall, my training was a success, I ended the race fine, never stopped – kept a nice easy pace without pushing myself too hard in the heat/humidity and finished with no pain, and plenty of energy left to sprint the last 50 yards. I’m happy to report that my knee never was an issue, thanks to a great chiropractor/sports medicine doctor and plenty of ice/heat.
It’s been almost a week after the race, but it seems so much farther away than that because I literally have no pain or stiffness. I’m contributing that to all the supplementing that I did during training and race day, I feel great – and probably in some of the best shape I’ve been in 20 years. Not bad for someone who just started running long distance last year!
I am so very happy the marathon is over! I had a very rough time of it. I had the flu the day before the race so just really focused on being hydrated enough to run. And since I did the last leg of the marathon relay, it was very warm and incredibly humid by the time I hit the course.
I love love love all the people who had their sprinklers and hoses out for the runners...totally saved my sorry butt. I know this reads like, 'Oh woe is me!', but it really was adverse conditions...but I did it so there's that I can hang my hat on.
Now I need to figure out if this racing stuff is for me. I really do enjoy running and training for a race gets me out there...but I have yet to really enjoy race day. Maybe I just haven't hit on the right recipe yet!
I was super nervous the night before/morning of the race. Then, I woke up every two hours to a thunderstorm which only served to heighten the nerves. I was mostly nervous I would let my team down and have to walk the majority of the race.
So, I woke up not well rested and with some seriously strained nerves! I began the morning with a banana, one large glass of water and a Quest Nutrition Bar. 20 minutes before the race I had Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews.
My friends/supporters dropped me off at my exchange point for the first exchange of the marathon relay and there was nothing to do but wait for Lisa! So, I stood there trembling (nerves + cold weather) and seriously considering throwing up. I saw Lisa flying in her neon colors and there was no time for vomit!
I ran and my competitive spirit (and pride) kept me going until I ran into a park and saw Scott waving at me at the next exchange! I thought I had 2 miles left to go! I was incredibly pleased with the entire experience! I finished my leg (6.5 miles) in just under an hour, something I never thought myself capable of.
I am not a runner…but I might just have to reconsider. There is a Fargo Women’s half marathon in August…I’m already half way there with training…tempting!