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Eric Peterson, Published May 19 2012

VIDEOS: Wrong turn in men's race helps propel Twigg; Aalgaard Kelly takes women's 10K

FARGO – James Schanandore took a wrong turn Saturday. Cley Twigg took advantage.

Twigg set a men’s record in the Fargo 10K, crossing the finish line at the Fargodome in 33 minutes, 17 seconds.

Twigg called his win a “default victory” due to Schanandore’s misfortune.

“I can’t beat him straight up,” Twigg said. “I know I can’t beat him straight up. He deserves the win today. He would have easily won it.”

Schanandore, a former North Dakota State track athlete, was in the lead with about two-thirds of the race completed when he veered off course.

“The motorcade took the wrong corner between (miles) four and five,” Schanandore said. “So when they looped me back around finally I was behind third, second and Cley.”

Twigg, a former Minnesota State Moorhead assistant track coach, said around the four-mile mark is when someone on the course told him that Schanandore had taken a wrong path.

“He said ‘You are in the lead right now, James took the wrong route,’” said the 36-year-old Twigg. “That’s too bad. It happens in road races, unfortunately. That’s not fun when it happens.”

Schanandore figured he was on pace to run around 31 minutes before he went off course.

“It’s fine,” said Schanandore, who is 26. “It actually gave me a little push at the end which was nice. I was getting a little too comfortable. When I saw people ahead of me I got a nice little push at the end. … It was a good race. It’s still fun.”

Twigg not only set a course record, he also eclipsed a family mark in the 10K. Cley said his father, Roger Twigg, had run a 33:20 in the half marathon decades earlier.

“I came here get a family PR (personal record) and I got my dad’s PR today,” Cley said.

Gina Aalgaard Kelly, 35, cruised to victory in the women’s 10K, finishing the race in 39:03.

Cortney Christensen, a 31-year-old from Hallock, Minn., was second with a time of 39:51.

Aalgaard Kelly, who is a North Dakota State professor, planned on running the half marathon earlier this week, but decided to run the shorter 10K because she was coming off a leg injury. Aalgaard Kelly, from Lisbon, finished fifth in the full marathon last year and collapsed at the finish line.

That also played a factor in her running the 10K on Saturday.

“I did it so I would have a positive experience,” Aalgaard Kelly said with a smile. “Last year’s marathon I don’t remember the last four miles, I collapsed.”

Her day wasn’t finished after the 10K. Later in the day, she also ran the final leg of a marathon relay, teaming up with family members. She said the relay was being run in honor of her husband’s uncle, Pat Kelly, who died a couple years ago from cancer.

“I have a couple of hours to rest up and you’ll see me again coming through,” Aalgaard Kelly said.


Forum reporter Eric Peterson can be reached at (701) 241-5513