FARGO — Annika Rotvold was in sixth grade the last time she ran the 5K at the Sanford Fargo Marathon, coming down from Hillsboro, N.D., to partake in the annual event. Her time, she said, was somewhere around 30 minutes.
The result was a bit different this time around Friday.
The North Dakota State cross country and track and field runner won the women’s division crossing the finish line in the Fargodome at 16 minutes, 40 seconds.
“It was a cool experience, I’ve never run a race this big,” Rotvold said.
Camron Roehl made it a Bison daily double winning the men’s division for the second time. He won it in 2017. The race drew more than 6,000 participants and started in the Fargodome for the first time in the 15 years of the event.
Over 6,000 runners at the start of the marathon 5K at the Fargodome. pic.twitter.com/7zL5IaWrFh— Jeff Kolpack (@FGOSPORTSWRITER) May 17, 2019
For Rotvold, a senior who redshirted the collegiate outdoor season, the Fargo race was like her end-of-season conference meet. After running a few meets as an unattached runner in the 1,500 meters, she geared her training in the last few weeks to the 5K.
She came in third overall running with another male runner the entire 3.1 miles. One thing she won’t miss about redshirting is the lack of competitive racing.
“It was different, kind of hard not competing,” she said.
Her goal was to beat 17 minutes, which she did easily averaging 5:22 per mile.
Rotvold started her college career at Augustana College before transferring to NDSU. She was productive in the Summit League Outdoor Championships last year placing fourth in the 3,000 meters, fifth in the 1,500 and fifth in the 5,000. She qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in the 1,500.
She still has another year of eligibility in both outdoor track and cross country. Roehl, on the other hand, finished his career this spring when the Bison won their 10th straight Summit outdoor title.
He finished fifth in the 1,500 and seventh in the 3,000.
“Competing for NDSU is on the greatest honors you can ever have as a collegiate athlete,” said Roehl, from Grand Forks, “But to come here and win an event that means so much to the city means a lot.”
He was a lone wolf in the race taking off from the start and not looking back finishing in 14:40. His only companions were the motorcycles leading the way.
“I was working pretty hard, having to fight the Fargo wind,” he said. “It was going to be a tough, tough run out there; it wasn’t easy by any means.”
Roehl crossed the finish line, and then had to wait for a while before second place Jesse Prince from Bemidji, Minn., came into the dome at 16:14.
“It’s never over until you cross the finish line,” Roehl said. “I’ve seen races go south pretty quick for some people with huge leads. You can never relax until the job is done.”
With college done, Roehl plans on working in ministry for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He still plans on running the shorter-distance races saying he still has some goals to attain. The longer races will come later, he said.