'Shoes for Kids' campaign wants your entry in the Friday night 5K

Started in 2010, local businesses get involved to spur attendance in the annual fundraiser

Participants in the Sanford Fargo Marathon Youth Run approach the turnaround in the 2019 event at the Fargodome.
Michael Vosburg/Forum Communications Co.
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FARGO — Phil Seljevold was an elementary physical education teacher and was most well-known in Moorhead as the long-time athletic director at Moorhead High. His son Larry was a track and field coach in the Fargo Public Schools system for 30 years before retiring.

It’s doubtful the Seljevold house had to worry about putting quality running shoes on their children. Pete Seljevold, Phil’s son and the program administrator for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Worksite Wellness Initiative, is doing his best so that other families don’t have to worry, either.

“The more kids we can get active in a good pair of shoes, the better,” Pete Seljevold said. “A lot of kids don’t even have the basics of a good pair of tennis shoes to be active in, to wear to phys-ed class at school.”

He saw it firsthand. His wife, Lisa, was a longtime first grade teacher in the Moorhead Public Schools.

“A lot of kids didn’t have the basics,” Pete said.


His company has put both feet in the water to help raise funds for the BNSF Railway Friday Night 5K. It’s a major fundraiser for the marathon’s annual “Shoes for Kids” campaign, which has been going strong since 2010.

Each registration donates $2 to the cause.

That means Blue Cross is pushing for more participants. Registrations are still being taken on the marathon website at

“Creating a healthier North Dakota is at the core of what we do here at Blue,” said Dan Conrad, the CEO at BCBSND.

An assortium of local businesses got involved in the marathon’s “Tag 5 Corporate Challenge” program, which asks people when they register to tag friends or businesses on social media to also join the cause using the hashtag “#Tag5Fargo.” The goal is 5,000 people, either walkers, runners or a combination of both.

“And even if you can’t run or walk, get out and cheer somebody on,” Pete Seljevold said. “The marathon is such a big part of spring in Fargo-Moorhead. Get out and participate as much as you can.”

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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