« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Published October 10 2010

Loeffler lives up to his bib number by being No. 1 at FM Half Marathon

When it came time for Eric Loeffler to get his bib number he was a little surprised.

He was given the “No. 1” bib by friend and FM Half Marathon race organizer Mark Knutson.

“I don’t know if anyone likes to wear No. 1,” Loeffler said. “Because its pressure but there it was.”

Apparently Knutson knew what he was doing because Loeffler won the half marathon on Saturday, finishing in 1:12.44.

It was the first time the

33-year-old Loeffler ran in the two-year-old race.

Loeffler ran the race because he’s training for the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7.

His plan to use the half marathon to train wasn’t a bad idea.

Breaking things down and analyzing them is something Loeffler’s good at.

After all, he is a financial analyst for Sanford.

His time indicated he’s not bad at running too. That’s why he’s also a volunteer assistant track coach at North Dakota State University.

If that isn’t enough, then there’s the fact that he’s a part owner of ‘Beyond Running’, a running store in Fargo.

“He’s a little fast,” Knutson said.

After Fargo’s Josh Yapp finished second, Moorhead runner Meg Grindall came in third.

Grindall won the women’s division for the second year in a row.

She finished in 1:20.56

“Meg won the Fargo Marathon in 2006 and she was really a Cinderella story,” Knutson said. “She came out of nowhere to win and now people know who she is. She’s like Eric, they’re both a little fast.”

Grindall, who turned 30 on Friday, said winning for a second year in a row was a good way to celebrate her birthday.

She didn’t sign up until Tuesday to run the race.

Grindall changed her mind after her mother flew back from Denver following a lung transplant.

“As long as she was at home,” Grindall said. “I was in the right state of mind.”

Eighteen-year-old Jamison Gehrig of West Fargo finished first in the 5K race. Fargo’s Jenny Aure won the women’s division.

In the 10K, James Schanandore, 24, of Fargo finished first while Gina Aalgaard Kelly finished second.

Knutson said this year’s race had more runners than last year. This year, nearly 2,500 runners participated compared to last year where 1,500 raced.

“Running here in the area has really taken off,” Knutson said. “You start seeing people walking and the work up to a 5K. Then those people doing a 5K go up to a 10K. It is a good thing to see for our area.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548