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Published November 22, 2010, 12:00 AM

Wagner: Type of runner, type of race must be match

Picking the next big goal race can be a bit of a challenge. No one wants to sign up for a race, put in the training and then go out and bonk.

Picking the next big goal race can be a bit of a challenge. No one wants to sign up for a race, put in the training and then go out and bonk.

Despite how much it hurts the legs, it can be even worse for the head.

A bad race can really color your desire, motivation and selection for another race.

A few weeks ago, a friend asked for some insight on a couple marathons, and during our conversation, we came to a conclusion: it’s pretty tough to compare one marathon to another, even regionally.

Is it fair to compare Grandma’s, with its rolling hills and fans stacked up the last five miles, to the Twin Cities Marathon, which offers great fan support but a big incline at mile 21?

And what about comparing either of those to the Fargo counterpart, where the weather always seems unpredictable and there are plenty of turns to navigate?

It just doesn’t seem fair to compare any of those marathons, but there are so many other factors that make a difference on race day, mainly a runner’s training and fitness heading into the race.

Personally, I love all of those races for different races.

But is one easier than the other?

It depends on what type of runner you are, what motivates you and how well you prepare.

All things being equal, my opinion is Fargo offers the easiest course, despite the number of turns. Twin Cities and Grandma’s are pretty close to equal, but the gradual, constant rolling hills of northeast Minnesota prove to be more daunting to this runner.

Bundle up

After one of our area’s best autumns for running, it looks like it might finally be time to bundle up when heading out on the roads.

Thinking back a few winters ago, my first as a runner, it was a tough transition to the cold and wind. It took all winter to figure out how to layer the proper clothes to stay warm.

If you’re new to winter running, or just looking for a refresher course or tips, check out the “Ice Road Runner” page on my blog for how to keep running when the weather turns nasty.


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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