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Registration for Fargo Marathon ahead of pace

The number of registered runners is so far ahead from this point last year that Fargo Marathon executive director Mark Knutson is trying to figure out the following question: Are people signing up earlier or is the growing trend of the event gett...

The number of registered runners is so far ahead from this point last year that Fargo Marathon executive director Mark Knutson is trying to figure out the following question: Are people signing up earlier or is the growing trend of the event getting an even bigger spike?

Either way, the seventh annual marathon appears to be on its way to capping the entrants for most of the six races. Approximately 10,000 have already registered, Knutson said. That's 35 percent more at this time last year.

The event can handle about 20,000 in the marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 10K, 5K and youth run. They drew 20,500 in 2010.

"That's a lot of people to manage over three days and six races," Knutson said. "It's the best problem to have."

The logistical goal would be to cap all the races and avoid race day registrations, which is a major stress to any running event.

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"In the early days, we did it so we could grow the numbers," Knutson said. "That's a whole other animal."

There will most likely be a couple of subtle changes this year. Knutson said he's looking at starting the marathon at 7:30 a.m. and the half marathon an hour later. "That should make everyone's lives a little easier," he said.

And the 10K route will go back to its original intended route. It was changed at the last minute last year because the 12th Avenue North toll bridge was not available.

Meanwhile, the event appears to be getting closer to a permanent route. Knutson said there are still a couple of areas that need work with things like traffic control. But once settled, the goal is to put down permanent mile markers.

"This one is really close," Knutson said. "Permanent markers would be really cool and neat to have and then we wouldn't have to set them up every year, either."

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show,

9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970).

He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

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Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia

Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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