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About Steve Wagner

My running and athletic career began on an an icy spring morning in 2006, when I found myself at the start of the Fargo Marathon as a newspaper reporter. For more than 10 years, my inclination was to head home from work, plop down in front of the television and unwind from a long day. Weekends might include a round of golf, a little mountain biking and an occasional hiking trip. For several summers, I spent summer weekends on the lakes of Minnesota, chasing walleyes, and I'd take an annual pilgrimage to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. But the start of the marathon changed me, even as a spectator. The positive vibe and contagious energy prompted a simple vow: run something, anything, the following year. A group of co-workers graciously agreed to run the 26.2-mile relay. That experience prompted me to start entering smaller local races and then a half marathon. Soon, against my initial objections, I began training for the 2008 Grandma's Marathon. My journey as a runner began then, serving as a greater purpose than the destination. That journey continues. The path has taken me to the starting and finishing line of marathons, half marathons, trail races and ultra marathons. During my journey, I've found a true passion for the path less traveled, particularly country roads and trails. To this end, my running isn't about destinations, rather discovering my limits in an experiment of one. Along the way, I hope to discover new horizons, learn more about myself and break through personal boundaries.

No shortcuts

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” — Beverly Sills

Thousands of runners took to the streets of Boston today, including dozens from across North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

For some, the quest to run a marathon started as a bucket list item, but turned into something more. Like many runners, the goal to run the Boston Marathon seemed like a worthy pursuit. Training takes a lot of time and dedication, but even the busiest people find a way to make it happen: Minnesota State University Moorhead President Anne Blackhurst was among those headed to Boston to run.

Tenielle Klubben was among those who dedicated her marathon to a special cause.

To find times for runners from the Grand Forks region, scroll to the bottom of the story on the Herald’s website.

And how quickly time passes for those training for the Fargo Marathon.

In less than 3 weeks, runners will be taking to the streets of Fargo and Moorhead, with a unique twist: starting and finishing inside the Fargodome, heading into north Fargo residential neighborhoods from the start and spending more miles in Moorhead.

The starting line

“I don’t rate myself as a fantastic, talented athlete. I just have perseverance. I’m a cart horse. I work hard.” –Colleen DeReuck, four-time Olympian

Anyone who has trained for a marathon knows it can be grueling. It can be physically taxing, mentally grueling and emotionally draining.

Add in an injury, family commitments and work, and there is no shortage of challenges to derail even the best of plans. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always lined up at the start knowing the toughest miles are behind me. The toughest part of a marathon is reaching the starting line. The race is the reward.

Sometimes i didn’t believe that I’d make it to the starting line. A few times, in the days leading up to a marathon, I doubted my ability to finish.

Eventually, I learned that perseverance was the most important aspect of my training. If it weren’t for perseverance, I wouldn’t have finished many of my trail races. If it weren’t for perseverance, I would have bailed on many long runs. The singular belief that I could tough it out has helped me out time and time again.

Last Sunday’s long run in Fargo was a perfect example. With gale-force winds, I needed a plan to finish at least 16 miles. Luckily, my brother gave me a ride to south Fargo, where I headed into the wind and endured the worst of the conditions for the first 5 miles. There was no choice of opting out — my only way of returning to his house on the northside was to run.

It’s symbolic of the past 6 weeks. Mileage has suffered, in large part to a bothersome sciatic nerve, but I’ve done every speed and endurance workout. Lost miles on the easy days, though, have yielded historically low training mileage. One trail half marathon left me limping and sore for days. A few days later, another long trail race left me suffering from heat exhaustion that has hampered my running for weeks. Allergies, unusual for me this time of year, made it difficult to breath for weeks.

But I will persevere.

Slowly and surely I’m on the mend. So while the miles may not be piling up as I had hoped, past experience offers the hope: anything can happen on race day.

One Boston Day

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” — Oprah Winfrey

Today marks One Boston Day, a new initiative to celebrate “resiliency, generosity and strength” of Bostonians, who are encouraged to perform random acts of kindness and spreading goodwill.

“On this day, we remember and reflect. We greet our neighbors. We lend a hand. We reach out, give back, and go above and beyond. We epitomize the spirit of the City we love,” according to the website.

It was 2 years ago — on April 15 — in which the Boston Marathon, and the city, was attacked by bombers. The horrific events of that day, though, resolved people, and especially runners, to prove that good will overcome evil. Freedom makes us stronger. The human spirit and the inherit good inside most can and will make a difference.

In 5 days, runners from around the world will gather in the starting chutes at the Boston Marathon. Some of those runners make the journey to Boston each year. Others will be going for the first time, finally reaching a goal that took thousands of miles in sacrifice, blood and sweat to attain.

Below is a list of regional runners signed up to run in Boston next Monday, according to a search of the entrant list on the marathon’s website. (Last name, first name, middle initial, age, gender and city of residence).

North Dakota

Allen, Charles O 56 M Bismarck
Arnason, James F. 23 M Grand Forks
Beiswanger, Lynn 60 M Bismarck
Boyle-Wrigley, Kathleen M. 44 F Bismarck
Callahan, Kari S 50 F Fargo
Carollo, Kevin A 46 M Fargo
Christianson, Kimberly G 51 F Fargo
Dafoe, Richard C. 33 M Grand Forks
Danuser, Jarrod P. 36 M Fargo
Danuser, Jon C. 36 M Fargo
Downs, Kyle C 29 M Bismarck
Fetterman, Liv K 37 F Bismarck
Flom, Nicholas T 35 M Grand Forks
Frenette, Kenneth J. 51 M Valley City
Hager, Mark A 49 M Bismarck
Hass, Christopher L. 37 M Fargo
Hellyer, Rachel J 38 F Grand Forks
Hintz, Michelle R 34 F Bismarck
Hintz, Ray 66 M Bismarck
Hjerstedt, Stephen 30 M Grand Forks
Holte, Tanya 33 F Fargo
Howard, Loren 31 M Grand Forks
Husen, Travis 27 M Fargo
Jensen, Jon J 49 M Grand Forks
Jensen, Stephanie 50 F Jamestown
Kenney, Diane E 48 F Fargo
Klabunde, Lori 52 F Bismarck
Klubben, Tenielle M 24 F Fargo
Lein, Kathryn 51 F Bismarck
Loucks, Nicki 51 F Crosby
McCullough, Sarah 52 F Bismarck
Momerak, Mark O 57 M Bismarck
Murphy, Barb A 46 F Grand Forks
Nash, David E. 60 M Bismarck
Neigum, Kimberly 46 F Bismarck
Owen, Jon 59 M Luverne
Rivard, Jennie M 48 F Fargo
Roy, Mauri 25 F Langdon
Stamper, Aimee L. 35 F Minot AFB
Steidl, Jamie W 36 M Fargo
Steidl, Kaley 37 F Fargo
Stromme, Nicholai 37 M Aneta
Thompson, Stephanie A. 43 F Bismarck
Tomlinson, Cassandra L. 24 F Grand Forks
Traiser, Miles J. 24 M Bismarck
Tufte, Jerod E 40 M Dawson
Weeks, Denise C. 49 F Bismarck

Northwest Minnesota

Blackhurst, Anne E 54 F Moorhead
Breen, Michael 48 M Fergus Falls
Burns, Bill 57 M Moorhead
Friend, Breanne J 24 F Int’L Falls
Jaeger, Patty 49 F Vergas
Johnson, Mark W 46 M Moorhead
Johnson, Patty 40 F Battle Lake
Hunter, Timothy J 49 M Roosevelt
Kirkwood, Meghan 33 F Moorhead
Lien, Nate 38 M Blackduck
Makela, Steven 50 M Moorhead
Peske, Mark I 58 M Bemidji
Pratt, David S 50 M Moorhead
Rick, Jerry T 55 M Breckenridge
Rodning, Sheila 51 F Fergus Falls
Stclair-Thienes, Christie 41 F Blackduck
Vanwechel, Anna 26 F Fergus Falls
Vanwechel, Samantha 27 F Fergus Falls
Westhoff, Randall F. 50 M Bemidji