New route brings new marathon parties
MOORHEAD, Minn.--Kyle Nelson has never been one for watching the Scheels Fargo Marathon, but this year is different. This year, the runners will go right by his house, and Nelson is throwing a party.
MOORHEAD, Minn.-Kyle Nelson has never been one for watching the Scheels Fargo Marathon, but this year is different. This year, the runners will go right by his house, and Nelson is throwing a party.
InForum: Fargo Marathon Central
"Just having some people over, grilling some food, having some drinks," the real estate appraiser said. "When I have parties, I just kind of let it happen."
The marathon's route is using more of Moorhead than ever this year, to fit with the theme of highlighting all three college campuses. That means many residents, like Nelson, are hosting their first-ever marathon parties.
"I think it's good to switch it up and involve different neighborhoods," Nelson said.
Matt and Andrea Gadberry are also hosting a party, but that's nothing new.
They've had a gathering at their home on Eighth Street South in Fargo since about 2009. The party, an all-day affair, starts about 6:30 a.m. Saturday and continues long after the runners are gone.
"It's always fun to see the first one come by and the last one finish," Matt Gadberry said.
Plus, if people arrive too late and the half-marathon runners are coming through, "the streets are packed," he said. "At some point, you cannot cross the street for like an hour."
The gathering of about 50 people has not changed much over the years. They used to feature karaoke and now host one of the marathon's bands. "In the past, we've started grilling around 1, and in the afternoon, if it's done, we'll play yard games," Gadberry said.
It's a family-friendly gathering that the kids--Jack, 9, and Lola, 2--"truly enjoy."
"They get as excited as the parents and adults, too, because of all the people--people just up and down the street," he said.
For both Gadberry and Nelson, hosting a marathon party is less about personal ties to the marathon and more about spending time with friends and cheering on the participants.
What makes a good party?
"The people--and the runners," Gadberry said. "When the runners see the people, they get excited. When they see a band, they get excited."
For new party hosts, Gadberry's advice is simple.
"Have fun," he said. "Be there from start to finish."
Friday night: Nothing's going on downtown, but parking will close on Broadway between First and Fourth avenues at 11 p.m. and stay closed until 3 p.m. Saturday, Fargo police officer David Boe said.
Saturday morning: Runners who arrive before 7 a.m. won't be affected, Boe said, but if you're coming up later, be prepared for lane closures on 10th Street South between Second Avenue South and First Avenue North and from Fourth Avenue North to Sixth Avenue North. Your best bets driving in are 12th Avenue North and 19th Avenue North. Once the race starts, southbound traffic through the 19th Avenue and University Drive intersection will be closed until 2:30 p.m. East-west traffic there will also close while the marathon runs through, but that will open up about 7:45 a.m.
Tips for nonspectators: Avoid downtown, Boe said, as there will be closures on Broadway, First Avenue and surrounding streets. South Fargo will start being affected about 7:15 a.m. Unlike previous years, Main Avenue won't be affected by the race.
Tip for runners: Take the shuttles, Boe said. In Fargo, they'll leave from West Acres, Scheels Arena, Cash Wise and Sanford Southpointe. There will also be shuttles from the Moorhead Courtyard by Marriott and West Fargo High School, all going to the Fargodome from 5 to 7 a.m.