- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Other, Virtual Race, Relay
- Road Race
- Event Website
Let me start with this, this was my first in-person marathon since October 2019 - AND IT FELT SO GOOD to be running a marathon again with people!
TRAVEL: To and from Fargo, ND was so easy. Connecting in Minneapolis with a four-hour layover each direction meant time for food and to just relax. The airport in Fargo is SUPER SMALL, but incredibly easy to navigate. It is less than 2 miles from the expo/start/finish of the race, which is also next door to my hotel. I walked this distance the morning that I flew home, as the hotel shuttle wasn't running that early when I left. Speaking of walking, I used the layover to also do some additional walking. This helped mitigate any post-race aches and pains. Overall, travel to this event was the easiest I've ever had for any event.
EXPO LOCATION: EVERYTHING for this event takes place at the locally-famous FARGODOME. It makes sense too - it's the most recognizable location in Fargo, it's HUGE, and it does allow for social distancing...but that didn't seem like that big of concern for most participants - though the organizers did try. I was actually able to sign up for the Friday Night 5k (the night before the marathon!) just a few hours in advance.
TRANSPORTATION: I walked EVERYWHERE during my time in Fargo because everything I needed was within eyesight of my hotel. Dinner, CVS, the Fargodome (expo/start/finish). The only time I used a vehicle was the hotel shuttle from the airport to the hotel, and when a local friend picked me up for dinner after the race. If you do what I did, you never have to worry about a vehicle. With that said though, there is a lot of Fargo I didn't get to take in as a result - so make your choice wisely!
LODGING: I'll keep this simple - my hotel was literally right next door to the Fargodome. Door to door was a 5 minute walk across a big parking lot. There were definitely cheaper lodging options further away, but this could not have worked out better. Pay the extra money if you can and stay close to the 'Dome.
RACE MORNING: On race morning, I walked over to the 'Dome from my hotel - again, 5 min walk. Since the start was so close to the hotel, I didn't even leave to head over until about 15 minutes before the race began! They have gear check, but I didn't take advantage. The only item I had in addition to my normal race gear was my "throwaway" shirt - the walk to the 'Dome was a bit chilly, but I tossed that shirt at the start line. .
CORRALS: Not really a thing at Fargo this particular year. The start was basically "if you're fast, go to the front - if you're slower, go to the back." This actually worked pretty well (in my experience) for the marathon start on Saturday...not as much for the 5k on Friday night.
THE COURSE: The start was a little crowded, but it began to spread out fairly quick. The course itself is absolutely great - AND FLAT! The only exception to this would be the rolling hills through the few parks the course passes through. Also, this course has you run through both North Dakota and Minnesota - a nice twist if you're looking to add states to your list! Aside from that, the only real difficult spot on the entire course (for me, at least) was the overall spectator participation. While there was a pretty decent turnout overall, there were definitely large patches of the course where spectators/music/entertainment would be a big motivator to push runners forward.
AID STATIONS: This would probably be my biggest criticism of the Fargo Marathon. I really felt like the aid stations were too spread out across the course. Additionally, I was surprised by the smaller number of aid stations in comparison to some other marathons I have run. While the distance between and number of aid stations were surprising, the volunteers working the aid stations were rock stars and made sure runners were taken care of!
RANDOM WIN: On my first flight the day after the race, I was fortunate to be sitting behind Fitz Koehler - the announcer and starter for Fargo Marathon race weekend. I had the chance to chat with her during our layover and learned about her fitness journey as well as her battle with breast cancer. It was awesome to get to meet her and I'm really excited to follow her journey going forward!
OVERALL: If you're thinking about Fargo, it's probably because of the movie of the same name. Trust me, there is more to this northern midwest city than meets the eye. My advice? Definitely consider signing up for the Fargo Marathon! The community is incredibly nice and welcoming, the city has a charm you will not find anywhere else, and the race (the reason you're going to go) is a hidden gem.