Sam Westerberg wins Fargo Marathon
It's the first marathon win for the 29-year-old from Minneapolis, who ran six previous marathons before Saturday.
FARGO — Prior to Saturday, Sam Westerberg had attempted six marathons in his life.
The seventh time came in Saturday's Essentia Health Fargo Marathon, and it was most definitely a charm.
The 29-year-old from Minneapolis departed the Fargodome start line amid a sea of fellow competitors and returned to the finish line all alone, with nothing but cheers from the crowd surrounding him. He finished first overall in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 50 seconds to win a marathon for the first time.
"It was relieving and exciting and just seeing the dome as I came around was so awesome," Westerberg said.
Not only did he win, but Westerberg also beat his personal goal of finishing in under 2 1/2 hours.
"I saw the clock and my longtime goal was to be under 2:30:00 and I saw 2:29:40," he said.
Finishing just over two minutes behind Westerberg was Jason Acosta of Roseville, Minn. The 38-year-old crossed the line in 2:32:12.
Westerberg said it was smooth sailing for the most part on the flat, 26.2-mile course, which Mother Nature paired with temperatures in the 40s on Saturday morning.
"Not really," Westerberg said about encountering any challenges along the way. "They had to redo the course a couple of different times and they did a great job with that. They did a great job with the bikes and controlling the crowd. It got a little windy but not for Fargo, so it was good. It was a beautiful morning."
Desmond Cariveau of St. Paul finished third to round out the podium. The 29-year-old finished in 2:38:24.
West Fargo's Joseph Koerber was the highest-finishing local runner. The 33-year-old placed 19th overall and 16th in the men's division in 2:53:7.
Fargo's Justin Rose, 32, was 23rd overall and 20th among males as the next highest metro-area finisher, clocking in at 2:56:48.
Westerberg was in no hurry to head back to Minneapolis to celebrate. He entered the marathon because he has friends who live in Fargo and raced the marathon as well, and he'll be staying in town to celebrate through Saturday.
"I'm just going to hang out in Fargo (Saturday night)," Westerberg said. "My friend Nolan (Vanyo) lives in Fargo. We're the 'Breakfast Club.' There's four of us and we just come up, run Fargo and we love it here."