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Maple Grove man to run 600th marathon at Fargo-Moorhead's 26.2 mile course

Like any marathon, many will be running their very first in Fargo-Moorhead this weekend. But a Twin Cities man who is hitting the course has run more than a few ... hundred.

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Tom Perri stands in front of the Fargodome where he will join thousands of others for the Fargo Marathon on Saturday.
Nick Broadway / WDAY News
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FARGO — Saturday will be a special day for Tom Perri from Maple Grove, Minnesota. He has already run a marathon in all 50 states five times, often running as a pacer for other racers. Getting to number 600 this weekend is more than just a numeric milestone.

Perri has no secret prep routine or special breakfast before each marathon. When a runner gets into the hundreds, marathons just come naturally.

"No, it's just ... another day for me," Perri explained. "It's just like, OK, it's 26 miles, OK. No big deal."

The 60-year-old has run more than 1,000 races since the 1970s, finishing several marathons in every state.

"I need Vermont for my six-time finish, and I have ten states left for my seven-time finish," Perri said.

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After he finishes marathon 600 tomorrow, he does not plan on stopping. It is tough to say how many more he can run.

"I'm trying to get that Stage 4 cancer in a little better remission, and once I can get that in a little better remission, I'll just keep on going," he said.

Perri got diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer in July 2019.

"I got the diagnosis, a six pack of Hamm's and a bottle of bourbon, and I thought, 'Nope. I'm still going to run, just a little slower,'" Perri recalled.

Despite six surgeries and a 7% chance of putting it in remission, he is determined to not let cancer tell him what he can do.

"I'm trying to say to cancer, 'Hey, you met its match, I'm still going to run, I'm still going to do all that stuff. Don't tell me I can't run; I'm going to run,'" he said.

Perri is looking forward to Saturday's race more than any marathon before, and the answer why is simple.

"My favorite race is going to be my next, because I never know when my last race is going to be," he said.

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Perri's next goal is 650 marathons.

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