On the sidelines

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow." – Jerry Chin

As difficult as it was for me, I chose not to sign up for the FM Half Marathon this weekend – a conscious decision to force myself to take a break after the Twin Cities Marathon and give my legs a chance to recover and relax after a long marathon season. I’ve been in training for 9 months without more than a couple days break, and I plan to cheer on friends who are running this weekend.

Even with cold weather – and possible snowflakes by the end of the week – the response for this weekend’s races, which are being held in conjunction with Oktoberfest in downtown Fargo, has been unbelievable.

All races – the half marathon, 10K and 5K – are officially full and closed. The response by the Fargo-Moorhead community to get out and run is pretty amazing, and a great indicator that our cities are definitely one big running community. The Web site for the FM Half Marathon says there will be no more registration, so if you were looking at a last-minute entry, you’ll have to sit this one out.

But there are some other terrific races this month, and each provides a unique experience:

  • The third annual Filthy 5K, sponsored by Beyond Running, will be Saturday, Oct. 17, at MB Johnson Park in Moorhead. It will be a fun time, with door prizes, T-shirts and food after runners complete a water-soaked cross country course. Personally, I’m excited to finally have a chance to run this one, and Riley will be joining me for his first race as part of his birthday celebration (he’s turning 4). He will be one muddy dog afterward.
  • The oldest race in the state – the Red River Run – will be Saturday, Oct. 31, and offers a 15K and 5K. Get out your costume, if you dare, for this Halloween Day run. Latest word is that more than 300 runners are signed up. Two years ago, I ran the 15K and it was a phenomenal race, set in the picturesque Lindenwood Park with a palette of fall foliage.

In addition, there’s the Full Moon 5K, sponsored by Dick Beardsley Running Company, on Tuesday, Nov. 3. This race drew several hundred people last year, and is unique as it’s a midweek race and in the evening.

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