Thursday, May 14, 2015

Fargo Marathon: Pace Report

Another weekend and another pacing gig--pacing assignment number three this year at the Fargo Marathon was a fun, quick trip to Fargo, filled with running-related activty.

Our first stop in Fargo was to the expo at the North Dakota State Fargodome. After picking up our packets, spending some time at the pacer booth, and looking around at the expo, we watched Deena Kastor speak. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend checking out one of her talks. Then, we spent a little more time at the pacer booth before heading out to look for some dinner.

We grabbed dinner at an Italian place called Johnny Carino's. Carino's was packed, but we didn't have to wait too long for a table, and the food was great. We then headed over to the hotel, spent a little time in the hot tub, and crashed before waking up early to leave for the race.

Deena Kastor!
I had heard that parking at the Fargodome would be limited, but we were pleasantly surprised when we easily found a space. Inside the dome we joined the pace team by the start. Deena Kastor, American marathon and world masters marathon record holder also happened to be hanging out by the start. We got a chance to chat with her for a little bit, and she was extremely friendly. Besides answering our questions, she also asked us about our running. I still really can't believe I was answering questions from and Olympian bronze-medalist about how my running was going.

The race started inside the dome, so I was a little nervous about the GPS situation. I really appreciate having my pace on my wrist when pacing. I decided to test out my Garmin by starting it inside the dome and then jogging about a quarter of a mile outside the dome. Fortunately the GPS picked up a signal after about a minute outside the dome, so I figured it'd be good to go for pacing (it was).

The fearless pace team.
Back inside I introduced myself to about a dozen runners planning to run with the 3:35 pace group. It was a great group of runners, and about five of them stayed with me from the start until about half a mile from the finish. Then, all but one of them ran ahead (the last young man also ran ahead of me just before we entered the dome at the finish). There were several inspiring moments along the course, including when the young man shared that he was running the race for his mother who'd been diagnosed with cancer. Several other runners also shared how they' been affected by cancer.

Entering the Fargodome
Listening to people's stories, jokes, and trying to honor requests of, "tell a story," or, "what's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?" made the race go by quickly. The course was nice and flat and the weather was cool.

There were lots of bands along the course--someone said there were supposed to be 52 bands and DJs, meaning there was something loud going on at least every half mile. I felt great the whole time besides having to pee for the last twenty miles or so. I've never appreciated the post-race bathrooms so much. I kept a pretty consistent pace, and finished the race at 1:34:29.

Laura had run the half marathon, so we grabbed some expo food, showered, and then got lunch in downtown Fargo at JL Beers. On our way home we checked out Buffalo River State Park, stretching out our legs with a nice three mile hike.

Next weekend I'll be pacing the the Run and Ride Half Marathon at Valley Fair, followed by the Med City Marathon the weekend after that. Between those two I'll be racing the TC One Mile and the Med City 5k.

Post-race cool down hike at Buffalo River State Park

Tonight at the TC One Mile, and I only have one goal: run under 5 minutes.

Happy Running!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Oh the good old days of running at Buffalo River State park for college cross country. Which Garmin do you have? I am one of those people who refuses to talk during my race, so I wouldn't be good at contributing to the conversation in a pacing group. Ha!