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Published October 25, 2010, 12:00 AM

Wagner: Autumn a great time of the year to go running

On a gray, misty weekend morning, we headed out the door. Riley, my golden retriever, grabbed the leash in his mouth, towing me along for the first few blocks.

On a gray, misty weekend morning, we headed out the door.

Riley, my golden retriever, grabbed the leash in his mouth, towing me along for the first few blocks.

It was a quintessential fall day.

My senses soaked it all in. The air, nearly intoxicating, filled my lungs. The crisp and cool air cooled my skin. The muted earth tones of autumn were easy on my eyes.

In many ways, there’s no better time to run.

Mornings like these make me thankful that one day, a couple years ago, I chose to be a runner.

Especially this fall, with so many perfect running days strung together for weeks on end.

And while there is special reward for stretching the legs out during a run in great weather, doing it consistently, day after day, creates the routine that will serve me well when the cold and snow returns.

A few weeks ago, as I scrolled through the online results of the FM Mini Marathon, one thing struck me. I peruse race results frequently, hoping to find friends’ names and send along congratulations, but there were so many names I didn’t recognize.

My conclusion was that many of the few thousand runners are either new to the sport or to racing. So when I think about this fall, my hope is they’ll find or keep a routine to keep them going through the winter, especially if they have plans to run in next spring’s Fargo Marathon.

Speaking of Fargo’s signature running event, registration is up this fall compared to the same time last year.

While most of the races like the 5K and marathon relay have proven very popular, expect a big bump runners signing up for the full marathon.

Outside of more area runners tackling the marathon, two important factors will push the 26.2-mile distance to record numbers:

E Runner’s World magazine will soon release its list of best marathons in the country, and Fargo will be on the list

E Dropping brochures in the race packets at this year’s Chicago Marathon, which boasted a record field of more than 38,000 marathoners

So don’t be alarmed when there’s a large influx of visitors in town next May. They’ll just be in town for a few days to experience what we already know: Fargo’s a great place to run.

Inforum searchword: Health

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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