Wild for the hog

One of the things I love about my Grand Forks home is that I see people out running all the time. Literally, it seems like I’ve seen runners at every time of the day: early morning, lunchtime, the heat of the day, as dusk approaches.

That says something about the neighborhood. But it also says something about the wider community because I see runners all over town.

It’s energizing and invigorating.

Many, I presume, may be training for a race like the upcoming Wild Hog Half Marathon on Sept. 28. I’ve heard great things about the race from well beyond Grand Forks, and the energy and talent poured into making it a great event has helped the race already develop a good reputation.

Leading up to the race, organizers are working hard to get the word out, and spread the message that running is a sport nearly anyone can enjoy. You don’t have to be fast, or fit, to begin running. Most people can finish a race. And, from personal experience, it can be very rewarding to stare down your fears and reservations to start a new lifestyle as an everyday athlete.

One of the summer long promotions for this year’s Wild Hog race weekend is the appearance of running legend Dick Beardsley, who will be making a Sept. 4 appearance at the Wild Hog Restaurant to pass along some words of encouragement to those gathering for a training run.

Some of you may be familiar with Beardsley, and his running accomplishments. Perhaps you’ve had a chance to hear him speak before a race you’ve attended. And maybe you’ve even been lucky to meet him. I first met Beardsley at Grandma’s Marathon, where I had him sign a copy of “Duel in the Sun,” a terrific book (click here to watch a YouTube clip) about his memorable Boston Marathon effort. He was just as friendly and personable as he appears from a distance, and his positive attitude is contagious.

Beardsley will meet and greet Grand Forks runners and fans during his special appearance from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at Wild Hog Restaurant. He’s also planning a talk that’s open to the public about 8 p.m.

Also, this past weekend, I updated the regional race listing, so click here to find a fun event this fall. There’s a lot of new races added to the calendar.

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