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Fargo Marathon runners need to prepare for rain and wind on Saturday

Jena Sinton, left, is congratulted on her half-marathon finish by Danielle Flora, Sydney Hylland and Shayna Sinton at the Sanford Fargo Marathon that finished in the Fargodome last year. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO — Runners at the Sanford Fargo Marathon may give extra thanks for the Fargodome on Saturday morning. At least they’ll start the marathon, marathon relay, half-marathon or 10K races dry.

After that, not so much.

That’s the forecast and there doesn’t appear to be much wiggle room in it for the 15th annual.

“It’s going to be raining,” said WDAY chief meteorologist John Wheeler.

There’s more to the gloomy news, too. Wind. It’s forecasted to be around 15 miles per hour with gusts in the 20-to-25 range from the northeast. Add to that temperatures in the high 40s and runners knowing what to wear over the course of 26.2, 13.1 or 6.2 miles could be the most important issue of the morning.


If a runners hasn’t invested in moisture-wicking gear, now may be the time.

“You don’t want to be overdressed, certainly,” said Wheeler, a runner for many years. “You’re not going to want to be wearing cotton, that will get wet and miserable. Wear material that won’t absorb water.”

Wheeler suggests wearing a couple of layers with the ability to shed one during the race. The optimal method is to know somebody along the course who can take your shirt.

“One, you’re not littering and two, you’re not wasting a $35 racing shirt,” he said. “Of course I’m speaking as an amateur.”

Temperatures are not expected to warm up much during the day, either, with a high in the low 50s.

“For the elite runners, it’s going to be hard to get a really great time because of the rain and wind,” Wheeler said. “For the amateurs, it will be a combination of being wet and windy and it’s going to be hard for people running slowly or walking to maintain the right (body) temperature. You’re out there a long time so you’ll get cold and that’s why it’s important to have moisture-wicking gear for layers.”

First-year winners return for expo

The inaugural Fargo Marathon began in 2005 near the Fargo Civic Center and ended near downtown. Fifteen years later, Scott Jansky and Cindy Lewandowski — the first male and female marathon winners — are returning as part of Friday’s “Speaker Series” at the Fargodome expo.

The series begins at 3 p.m. with Carter Evenson, a runner, triathlete and martial arts instructor who will make a presentation titled “Runner’s Basic Self Defense.” Jansky and Lewandowski will take the stage at 4 p.m.


There were 2,641 participants for all of the running events in 2005 with 777 in the marathon. Jansky finished with a time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, 12 seconds. It was the start of regional runners dominating the early years, despite the presence of some native Kenyan runners.

Chad Wallin of Minot won back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. Eric Sondag, then of Grand Forks, rallied to win in ‘08. Chris Erichsen of St. Paul won in 2010 and 2013.

Starting in 2014 with Peter Kemboi, Kenyans have taken the past five marathons.

Lewandowski, from Sartell, Minn., won in ‘05 at 3:16.27. The winning times have improved since, with Semehar Tesfaye holding the course record of 2:37.27 set in 2016.

Since Andrea McGehee of Lee’s Summit, Mo., won with a 3:08.41 in 2008, all of the women’s winning times have been 2:53 or faster.

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