Time to countdown

With race morning just more than 2 days away, it’s not uncommon for runners to feel some jitters — especially after months of training (or, in some cases, not enough training).

For some, the hours leading up to a big race are nothing new. If anything, it might even be routine. But for many others the anxiety or excitement of race morning is a new experience.

A perfect race can be made or lost before runners even reach the starting line. That’s why it’s critical to focus on making good choices in the days leading up to the race.

Recently, I found this 48-Hour Pre-Race Countdown. In the past, I’ve shared my pre-race carb loading plan and general strategies for race week, including going to bed earlier each night for several days leading up to the race. Whether I’m racing or planning a long run, getting a restful night of sleep 2 nights beforehand has proven to be the key for success.

During the next few days, thousands of runners will keep their eye on the weather, which can be unpredictable and wildly volatile this time of year. However, the forecast for Saturday morning looks favorable: an overnight low of 36 means cool temperatures for runners, and highs expected in the upper 50s. Northerly winds are expected to be manageable in the 9 to 13 mph range.

Racing to Saturday

It’s race week in Fargo, and registration for all of the events — with the exception of the 5K and youth run — has closed.

If you still want to participate, registration closes at 5 p.m. Thursday for the youth run and 5 p.m. Friday for the 5K.

One of my favorite parts of any major road racing event are the people stories. One example is the story of Mike Hons, an Iowa man who plans to run the Fargo Marathon with a full Army ruck sack. His primary purpose for running Fargo will be raising awareness for a buddy who needs a kidney transplant.

This year also provides a fast field, especially in the half marathon, where Eric Loeffler, Devin Monson and others will tear up the streets. With the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying period still open, runners have a great chance to secure a spot for Los Angeles next spring.

For a high-speed tour of the marathon route, watch Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack and Race Director Mark Knutson preview the course highlights.