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Steve Wagner / Forum Communications Co., Published November 06 2011

Wagner: Autumn weather has been ideal for marathons

Bemidji, Minn.

This year, fall marathons have lived up to their billing. It seems most of the big races have had near perfect weather for running 26.2 miles – and Sunday proved to be no different at the New York City Marathon.

Runner’s World described it as a “nearly perfect running day – cool, sunny, little wind” as another course record fell.

Each of the five World Marathon Majors – Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York – saw men break course records. On Sunday, the winner, Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai, finished in hours, 5 minutes, 5 seconds.

A lot of people would be happy to run a half marathon in that time, or a little faster. It won’t be long until someone makes a serious run (pun intended) at breaking the two-hour barrier.

Unfortunately, the year to run fall marathons left me shut out. After failing to have my number drawn for the New York lottery, I either waited too long (Twin Cities) or wasn’t creative enough (Chicago) to run a fall marathon for the first time since I took up the sport.

But that hasn’t stopped me from cheering on friends and other area runners who have continued their quest for personal bests and expressing their love for the sport.

According to the official race website, here are the runners from the Fargo-Moorhead area, along with their finishing times, who completed the New York City Marathon on Sunday:

E Christopher Hass, 2:43:52

E David Backlund, 3:37:03

E Kevin Sweeney, 4:09:49

E Sally Loeffler, 4:28:51

E Jason Overland, 4:33:15

E Custer Huseby, 4:41:20

E Lee Hoedl, 5:13:03

For Lee, it was the culmination of a long training cycle dedicated to raising money for Children’s Hospital. He notched at least 61 half marathons, either in training or races, during the buildup, as a special nod to Roger Maris’ during the 50th anniversary of his record-breaking home run season.

For my friend David, I’m especially proud of his terrific race. We’ve shared stories over the years, training and racing philosophies and strategies, and I’m amazed at how he balances work, family and running to accomplish so much, including a previous Boston Marathon after qualifying in Fargo.

Many of you are winding down the race season, and looking at the winter for a break. After my move to Bemidji, I’m looking at the opposite – and hoping I have enough in the tank to rebound to put a nice race together in Arizona in two short months.

For complete lists of North Dakota finishers see Scoreboard.

Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer Editor also writes a running blog, which can be found at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@bemidjipioneer.com