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Published October 11, 2010, 12:00 AM

Wagner: For a great marathon experience, try a big one

If there’s one recommendation I could make to every runner who takes on the marathon challenge, it would be this: run a big city race at least once in your life.

If there’s one recommendation I could make to every runner who takes on the marathon challenge, it would be this: run a big city race at least once in your life.

And by big city, I mean really mega big.

This past weekend, I had the chance to run the Chicago Marathon, and it was an amazing experience.

Cool gear, lots of camaraderie, super organized and an estimated 1.7 million spectators lining the streets. It’s all part of the experience.

Show up a couple days early, stay an extra day or two, and make it worth your while.

Even before the start, being part of a big marathon is a special experience. Especially in a place rich in tradition, culture, history and atmosphere like Chicago.

Winding through the vibrant streets with screaming spectators is electrifying. On the city’s near north side, there were fans stacked four and five deep along both sides of the sidewalk every step of the way. On the south side, Chinatown lived up to its reputation as being a warm and welcoming crowd.

Personally, it unexpectedly brought a personal best, but the race was simply reward for months of hills, intervals, long runs and persevering through injury. The best part, though, was sharing the experience with friends.

And a special thanks to the other Fargo-Moorhead area runners who inspired me along the way.

What’s next

There are plenty of local races yet this fall, including Saturday’s Filthy 5K event in Moorhead. Don’t plan to walk away from this one without getting dirty. The race starts at 10 a.m. More information can be found by stopping by the Beyond Running store in downtown Fargo or visiting the store’s website at www.gobeyondrunning.com.

The Red River Run is slated for Oct. 30 in Fargo’s Oak Grove Park. Find more information at www.lakeagassizpacers.com and remember to show up in your Halloween costume.

And I’m excited to hear the Full Moon 5K date has been set for Nov. 11. For more information about this fun 7 p.m. event, visit Go Far Sports or the store’s website at www.gofarsports.com.


Forum News Director Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@forumcomm.com.

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