Mark Knutson, the Fargo Marathon race director, again took time out of his busy schedule to answer more questions about this year’s events.
In the lastest newsletter, Mark projected the longer events — marathon, half marathon and 10K — would all reach capacity by May 1. That’s a week from today. There’s also a new mobile phone app available.
In February, I asked 5 questions in the first “Catching up with the race director” series. Below, you’ll find the second round of 5 questions. (You might even catch a glimpse of beavers in Trefoil Park.)
Q. This year, the course features more north Fargo neighborhoods and several miles in Moorhead, including both the MSUM and Concordia College campuses. What type of feedback have you received about this year’s course?
Mark Knutson: So far the feedback has been very positive. The north Fargo section is always my favorite way to start off the marathon due to the awesome roads, scenery and fans — very gentle turns in the Edgewood area. We are also utilizing the new bike path that Fargo Parks put in around Trefoil Park and east of Mickelson Field. Most people don’t know about this updated path. The Moorhead section is going to be excellent this year! MSUM and Concordia will be crazy, exciting with fans, music, etc. Then, the other new piece that we’ve never done before is Gooseberry Park and Lindenwood Park. Again, all new for the Fargo Marathon! Seventh, Eighth and Ninth streets are FULL of bands and music this year! Broadway is a staple of this event and the last mile will go through NDSU — and just like the other two campuses, it will be a BIG energy zone to get people through the final mile!
Q. If registered runners want to switch races, will they be able to? If so, how can they go about making the switch?
MK: Our Race Transfer date has expired (April 1), so we don’t have an option to switch now. If they want to register for a different event, they have until May 1st to do so.
Q. The guest speaker lineup always seems to be impressive. This year, Deena Kastor, the American record holder for the marathon, will be the keynote speaker. What do you expect Deena’s message to be? Will she be running any of the events?
MK: I have heard Deena speak one other time, and I’m VERY excited to have her join us this year. As incredibly fast and successful as she is, her message is very “down to earth” for all runners, focusing on what running does for your soul and “enjoying the journey of running”
Q. What advice do you have for spectators who plan to watch finishers Saturday inside the Fargodome? What’s the best parking strategy for them?
MK: I would recommend getting to the Fargodome as early as possible. Doors open at 5:30 a.m. I have actually encouraged many people to take I-29 to Cass County Rd 20, then go south on University Drive, avoiding the congestion that will take place on 12th Avenue North and 19th Avenue North.
Q. The Fargo Marathon always seems to attract fast runners from the region and country. Who will be in the elite field this year?
MK: Not me We have a great Elite Field this year. It’s still an Olympic Trials qualifying year, so we’ve had a number of inquiries from runners regarding that. In Fargo, it always seems to come down to the weather for course records.