Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fargo Marathon~ Race Ratings (#32- ND)

Tag line: "Where we Lack in Hills, We Makeup in Spectators"

Fargo, ND ~ FargoDome!
Year Running: 6th
Registration Fee: 
Runners:  1885 Completed,  757 Females
Available Races: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon
Average Finish Time: 4:19:58!!
BQ %: 13.32%

Overall Race Ratings: 4.1/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 4.3/5.0
~ This big isn't big on hills or variety of things to do or so. However, it makes up for those things by their people. The spectators and volunteers are so happy to be there and they make you proud to be running. The pace leaders and runners are fun too! The swag and expos are fantastic and it's a great finish into the Fargo Dome. The course can use a little work (flat flat flat) but I don't suppose there is much to be done about that in Fargo!

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~ Get that powerade watered-down! It's far too sugary. I know (after flying in) there are no hills to be found, but something has to be done about that flat flat course. Then again, I guess a lot of people like all flat-- crazies.

Event Organization: 3.5/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll go ahead and include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: ~1.5 Miles
Rental Car Required: Absolutely not
~ The airport, hotel and fargo dome are all on the same block-- it just so happens this block contains everything IN Fargo. I did NOT expect Fargo to be so so small! It was unreal. I think there were about 3 restaurants that were close (wendys, BW3's and Applebees). Their website is very helpful and they send out information to keep you connected. The plus side, you don't need a rental car if you get into the hotel next to the dome andddd you're RIGHT next to the Dome. Down side? Not too much going on in Fargo and not too many restaurant options.

Race Organization: 3.8/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Powerade (Purpleish-blue)
Gel Type/Flavors:  GU- Variety
~ I have never felt so sick in my life after chugging full strength powerade through a marathon. I felt full and had a buzz from sugar high that was NOT good. Water down the powerade, please! Aside from that, there were tons of aid stations and port-a-johns throughout. There were supposed to be 2 GU stations at  11 and 19. I saw the first, but no dice on the second. Either they ran out or I completely missed them. The course ends running into the fargo dome with a few big jumbo-trons that show off your arrival-- if anybody is looking for you, they'll have a tenth of a mile to get their cameras out and ready once they see you coming.
~Post Race Food: .

Course: 3.3/5.0
~MarathonGuide Rating
Garmin Distance: 26.25
~ Flat, flat, and more flat. I guess you would call this pretty scenic, but the best scenery are the thousands of spectators out to watch you! You start and end the race at the Fargo Dome, with the last tenth running INTO the Dome and over the finish line. Apparently you run through both 1) "downtown fargo" as well as run into Minnesota (neither of which I even noticed).

Spectators: 5.0/5.0
~ This is probably the biggest thing that comes to Fargo each year and you can tell the community is behind it in full force! There is never more than a 100 yd gap withOUT spectators. They're crazy about the race and the runners.

Pace Group: 5.0/5.0
~ I had a chance to run with a few pace groups and they were all EXACTLY ON! They were also HUGE-- I've never seen such large of pace groups run for so long together. The leaders were fun and informational and took care of their runners.

Runner/Corrals: 4.0/5.0
~ No corrals necessary. Runners were a lot of fun! I saw a lot of familiar faces with all the maniacs and 50-staters. One particular face stuck out as we were doubling back past the slower runners-- Dean Karnazes. Ummm Dean, whatcha doing back here? Apparently he had some ultra-crazy-long race and this was his quick 26.2 mile cool down that he was "taking easy." Uhhh huh.
Expo: 4.9/5.0
~ The expo was held all weekend (including post-race) at the Fargo dome and had a HUGE variety of sports apparel and gear, primarily from Adidas. It wasn't an expo in the sense that there were tons of booths with vendors, it was a few vendors with tons of stuff to buy. They also had some GREAT Fargo Marathon apparel. I'm always on the lookout for marathon gear that you can wear outside of just running!

Swag: 4.75/5.0
~T-Shirts: These were long sleeve, light, half zips in purple and black with some sort of race logo on the back. They're made of some funky material that was warm, but sweatwick. Unlike anything I've ever gotten at a race. 5.0

~Medals: The medal had some sort of cool psychedelic design on the ribbon and the face of the medal had the same race logo on it. VERY colorful and definitely sticks out! 4.5

~ Goodie Bag: Nothing crazy extra.


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