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Kevin Schnepf, Published October 06 2011

FM Mini Marathon alters course for Saturday

FARGO – Thanks to some last-minute course adjustments, Saturday’s FM Mini-Marathon is bracing for its largest field of runners in its three-year history.

Race coordinator Mark Knutson learned last Friday that the bridge connecting Moorhead’s Goosebury Park and Fargo’s Lindenwood Park would remain out of operation. That forced Knutson and race officials to map a new course on Monday.

Instead of running much of the half-marathon through Lindenwood Park, runners will stay on the Moorhead side of the Red River – which has been above flood stage for much of the summer.

“Usually we worry about flooding for the Fargo Marathon,” said Knutson, who also coordinates the marathon that is held every May. “This year with the mini-marathon, it turns out the flood also caused us some headaches. The river just didn’t want to give us a break.”

Knutson is expecting to surpass last year’s field of 2,400 runners. There were 800 pre-registered runners for the 13.1-mile half marathon, 735 for the 10K and 720 for the 5K. There is still room for 570 more spots with registration being held from noon until 8 p.m. today at the Fargo Civic Center.

“To be at the 2,500 mark, I feel really good about that,” Knutson said. “We’re hoping the weather holds out.”

The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 60s.

All three runs start and finish and the Fargo Civic Center, with the 5K starting at 8 a.m., the 10K at 8:15 a.m. and the half marathon at 8:50 a.m.

In Fargo, motorists should be aware that Second Street on the east side of the Civic will be closed Saturday morning. First Avenue North east of Fourth Street will be closed as well.

In Moorhead, Third Street by the Moorhead Center Mall will be closed with portions of Fourth Street in south Moorhead being closed as well.

Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549