“Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” – Oprah Winfrey

It’s finally here. In just a few hours, a fraction of the time spent training for Fargo Marathon events this weekend, the starting gun will go off.

These final hours give way to hope and possibilities. They give us a chance to dream big and dare to be our best.

Last night, I went over to the Fargodome to pick up my race packet and meet up with old friends, who are in town to run. I’m super excited for them as they embark on their goals. Two brothers are returning home to run their first marathons together, and the wife of one of them is running her first half marathon. They’re trained and ready, and I can’t wait to congratulate them on the other side of the finish line. We took a little bit of the edge off the anxious moments before an epic race by watching the kids run. My buddy and his wife ran the 1/2 mile race with their boys, and it was fun to see so many people enjoying the event.

It was also fun to bump into a few familiar faces at the expo, including Ray, who is running as a half marathon pacer. I can’t wait to hear about his experience and it was fun just to see how excited he was to do it. It’s terrific that he’s donating his time and talents to help others reach their goals. Thanks for your efforts, Ray, in helping make our sport fun.

Tomorrow, when I line up in the race corral at the start of the half marathon, offers another opportunity. A chance to put my training to the test, encourage and cheer on other runners, and thank the volunteers who’ve freely given their time and abilities to make sure all runners have a positive and fun experience.

Best of luck to all the runners. You’ve chosen your path, dared to dream and will soon put foot to pavement. Now it’s simply time to relax before you set off to do what you’re trained to do.