A perfect day for me in North Dakota: Beautiful run, good time, ideal conditions. The Fargo Marathon, a great show!
The alarm clock went off at 5:30 am. I had slept quite well and felt in great shape. I took Immun’Âge® before eating my breakfast and got dressed lightly as the weather forecast had announced 59 °F at the start of the race and approximately 80 °F at the finish. It was going to be hot!
I took my stuff and drove to the start at the Fargodome located fifteen minutes away from my hotel. I got there at 6:30 and found a parking space very close to the start area. I dropped my bag at the gear check and went down to the center of the room as the race started and finished inside the Fargodome: original! With all the relay marathoners, there were many of us there and the ambiance was very friendly. The Canadian and US national anthems were performed very beautifully before the race started at 7:30.
We took off quite fast leaving the Dome. At km 1, Scoobidoo passed me. He was in great shape then! People greeted me and a few runners talked to me. It was really nice but it broke my concentration as I don’t know how to run and talk at the same time. However, it was nice and I was able to focus again on my rapid run.
For the first ten kilometers we ran through residential neighborhoods that were very pleasant and green. The course was rolling with fast transitions which was good for us. There were many cheering fans at the roadside and a great ambiance.
I did not feel the kilometers pass by which was a great sign for the rest of the run. I reached km 5 in 27 minutes and km 10 in 55 minutes. We ran for ten kilometers in a beautiful park then along a river. Everything was very pretty, very green, well maintained and full of flowers. It smelled good, birds were singing. It started to be hot and everything was great.
I reached km 15 in 1:24. At km19, Scoobidoo went limp and refueled at the aid stop. I took the opportunity to pass him but unfortunately I never saw him again. I think that he probably ended up getting way too hot towards the finish! The course kept being pleasant, full of many music attractions, and very rolling, with a short uphill at km 18. It was perfect.
I reached km 20 in 1:54 and the half marathon in 2 hours. My legs were OK, I was in high spirits and relaxed. No need to change anything. We ran through several little parks and green areas in the city center. I know that I repeat myself but I am always very impressed by these small American towns and how well maintained and clean they are. Everything is so clean, you could eat on the floor and it’s really nice.
I reached km 25 in 2:25 when my legs started to feel stiff. I psyched myself up to keep going and reached km 30 in approximately three hours. We ran for about six miles in a nice neighborhood on three parallel avenues. They were long avenues but we were running under the trees that lined them which protected us from the hot sun. The ambiance was great: there were bands playing music every 500 meters. People were in front of their homes partying with us. It was really nice!
After psyching myself up, I reached km 30 in 2:59 and km 35 in 3:40. I knew that I could finish way under five hours if everything went well from that point on! We continued through the city center and then towards the finish area under the hot sun but with a light breeze that cooled us a bit. The weather gods were with us. I reached km 40 in 4:22 and approached the Fargodome. There were a lot of people there to cheer us up. After a last straight stretch, I entered the dome with a time of 4:41:25 and after 500 extra meters, I passed the finish line in 4:45:39.
I quickly got something to eat, got my bag back and did not hang around as I still had to drive 250 miles to give my rental car back at the Minneapolis airport before taking a four-hour flight to New York City to drink a beer with my friend Thierry at Skyroom. It was one more great but very busy day.
Everything was perfect from start to finish, very beautiful run, very rolling course, great ambiance, one of the best runs since the beginning of my US challenge, very good organization. Many thanks to the volunteers and police personnel who were all very nice. We always want marathons like this one.
See you on Monday May 30 for the Memorial Day marathon in Waterbury, CT.
Have a good week,