Knutson gets new race for Fargo-Moorhead
Mark Knutson, known for putting the Fargo Marathon in the national spotlight, has a new job and a new race. Knutson's new sports management business venture, CasMar Events, will host the "FM Bridge to Bridge Bash" Sept. 22 - with four different r...
Mark Knutson, known for putting the Fargo Marathon in the national spotlight, has a new job and a new race.
Knutson's new sports management business venture, CasMar Events, will host the "FM Bridge to Bridge Bash" Sept. 22 - with four different running races starting and finishing on the Main Avenue Bridge that connects the downtowns of Fargo and Moorhead.
"I just wanted to create another event to get people back to downtown and the bridge," said Knutson, whose first Fargo Marathon in 2005 started on the bridge but has since moved to the Fargodome. "A lot of people liked that. Plus, I think this area needs a well-run, quality fall race."
The "Bash" - which will include a 2.62-mile fun run/walk, a 5-mile run/walk, a 10-mile run and a two-person 10-mile relay - is the first race put on by CasMar Events.
Last spring, Knutson resigned as director of corporate development at Otter Tail Corporation to form CasMar Events with his wife Cassi.
The West Fargo couple formed CasMar to devote more time in managing the increasingly successful Fargo Marathon and to organize other races and events in the region and country.
Looking at organizing individual athletic endurance events such as marathons, bicycling races and triathlons, Knutson said they are currently working on organizing one event near the Twin Cities and another in Illinois.
"Being only a couple months into this venture, I'm pretty happy," Knutson said. "Our philosophy at this point is opening ourselves up to all kinds of ideas, throw darts at the board and hopefully some of them will stick.
"We realize it's going to take some time to get events going. It took some time to build the Fargo Marathon which is still in the research and development stages."
In three years, the Fargo Marathon has grown from 2,752 runners to 9,350 this past spring.
Operating as a nonprofit entity, the Fargo Marathon donated more than $15,000 to the Children's Museum at Yunker Farm and MeritCare Children's Hospital.
"The plan is to try to tag team with children's charities in events we organize," Knutson said. "That's an important thing."
The "FM Bridge to Bridge Bash" will partner with the Fargo-Moorhead Family YMCA's Partner of Youth Campaign. Knutson hopes to attract 500 runners for the first "Bash".
"I would love to see more than 1,000 runners eventually," Knutson said. "It's not like you need to train for a marathon to run in this event. It will be a neat race."
The five-mile run will start at the Main Avenue bridge, loop through Fargo's Lindenwood Park, across the foot bridge into Moorhead's Gooseberry Park and back to the Main Avenue bridge.
The 10-mile run will have runners following the same course and running the same route backwards for the final five miles.
"You'll see something different running both ways," Knutson said. "There's not many 10 mile races around here. And it's not a killer."
The races will start at 4:05 p.m. with post-race festival scheduled to be held at Dike East. For more information on the race, runners can log on to www.fmbridgebash.com .
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549