FARGO — Former North Dakota State runner Maddie Van Beek wasn't sure she was going to run the half-marathon at the Sanford Fargo Marathon until about a week ago. She signed up for the race last Sunday.
"I didn't plan ahead for it," said Van Beek, who ran a 25K in Grand Rapids, Mich., last weekend.
The outcome turned out better-than-planned. Van Beek took first place in the women's half-marathon Saturday crossing the finish line in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 58 seconds in the Fargodome. Her time was a new record for the race. Emma Lee of St. Paul had the old mark with a time of 1:17:36 in 2014.
"I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get in a hard training run and see where I'm at and how I'm feeling," Van Beek said. "It wasn't a PR, but it was a real good effort for today. I was super happy."
Brendan Sage of St. Michael, Minn., won the men's half-marathon with a time of 1:06:28. Sage, 23, is a former South Dakota State runner. Sage said his time was a personal record by two minutes.
"Way better than I had hoped," he said. "I didn't expect a first place."
The 27-year-old Van Beek, who is from Perham, Minn., plans to run a 5K in New York in two weeks and then after that a 10K race on the track in Portland, Ore. She's hoping to run a time in Portland that would qualify her for the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Van Beek liked how Saturday unfolded in preparation for those upcoming races.
"I was hoping to go for the win," she said. "But my plan was to start at a pace that felt comfortable and hopefully pick it up. What ended happening, I just ran a really even pace pretty much the whole way. I was super happy with that. I couldn't ask for a better day."
Karen Lavine of Shevlin, Minn., finished second in the women's half-marathon with a time of 1:15:42. Van Beek wasn't the only current or former Bison women's runner to half success at the Fargo Marathon. Annika Rotvold won the women's 5K on Friday night and Brynnan Covington won the women's 10K on Saturday.
"I think it's really fun to run your local race," Van Beek said.
Sage pumped his fist as he broke the tape to win the men's race. He crossed line nearly two minutes ahead of Elijah Kiptoo of Coon Rapids, Minn. Kiptoo ran a 1:08:24.
Temperatures hovered around 40 degrees during the race with a light rain and at times windy conditions.
"This is my weather. I love the cold," Sage said. "I didn't expect to run that well with the wind, but that cold weather is what I thrive in."