I hadn’t planned on a second blog post today, but this is big enough to warrant it.
The course map for the Fargo Marathon, changed after this spring’s flooding, had a lot of people scratching their heads. The last time I wrote about it, a reader pointed out a concern that I failed to mention – the course showed runners having to cross paths near the Fargodome. For those who looked closely at the map, it didn’t make sense.
It’s good to see that the problem – and perhaps it was simply the case of the wrong map online – has been fixed. The new map shows a change in the route at the Fargodome that gets around the problem.
There are some other changes to note on the latest map: A couple water stations have been added, the starting line appears to have been moved to east of the Bison Sports Arena parking lot (slightly more than a block south than previous years), and there’s a 180-degree hairpin turn for the marathoners and marathon relay teams just after they begin the second loop.
On the water stations, it’s good to see that 2 more have been added – for full marathoners that means an additional 4 because of the double loop – to make sure there’s enough fluids on the course.
You’ll still need to look at the map and plan out your fueling strategy, especially if you’re using gels. What’s unclear by looking at the map is whether a couple of stations – on streets where runners will be going both directions – will have fluids on each side. The map doesn’t show it, but it would make sense. Personally, I’m not going to count on it until it is confirmed.
One final suggestion for runners: Get to the Fargodome early on race morning. For those who’ve ran in the race before, the shift of the starting line means you’ll likely need to give yourself a few extra minutes to be on the safe side. With thousands of people out there, and traffic congestion, an early arrival will save a lot of anxiety – and you might as well save that energy for the race.