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Jessica Ballou, Published May 19 2012

VIDEO: Runners full of high spirits, energy as they crossed the finish line

FARGO – The King of Rock entered the Fargodome as he completed the half marathon, earning giggles and cheers from the spectators and fellow runners.

Elvis was reincarnated by Andrew Brever of St. Paul, who channeled his inner King to add some pizzazz to the race.

He got into character by wearing a black wig with matching sideburns and a white leisure suit akin to the famous one worn by The King.

Brever aimed to take this year’s marathon theme, Fargo Rocks, to heart with this costume.

Claiming he came from the grave, Brever stayed in character as he finished the course.

“It’s the greatest city on Earth,” he said. “(The race) was picture perfect.”

A community push

The half marathon was an emotional, fulfilling and fun race for Wayne Bryan and his daughter Tammy from Kewanee, Ill.

They do a lot of races together, father pushing daughter in her wheelchair. They’ve done half marathons, 5Ks, 10Ks and more, but they had never done the Fargo Marathon before this year.

One of their friends let them know about it, and the duo listened and headed north for it.

Fargo left a good impression on the father-daughter team that completed the race full of good spirits and high energy.

“Runners are amazing people,” Wayne said, commenting on the kindness of strangers within the running community who offer to help push Tammy.

Running from the heart

For a man who had a heart attack five and a half years ago, Gary Korsgaden of Park Rapids, Minn., felt pretty darn good about finishing the half marathon Saturday, as did his wife.

Both were relieved and happy as he crossed the finish line. His heart didn’t give him any problems during the race, much to the relief of his wife in particular.

After suffering a heart attack, Korsgaden wanted to get in better shape. He changed his eating habits and hired a personal trainer. His wife was a great source of support.

“When I was in the helicopter getting airlifted after my heart attack, I never thought in a million years I could do this,” he said.

He wanted this to be a message to others with heart problems, that they can and should get up and do something to improve their quality of life.

‘Marry M.E.’

Last year at the post race party, Mike Entzminger met the love of his life, Jayel Schmautz.

This year as Schmautz ran the half marathon, Entzminger was planning a big surprise for her at the finish line.

Friends and family gathered around him, holding signs that read “Jayel, will you marry M.E.?” – a play on his initials.

He had a tracker on Schmautz to know when she would arrive in the Dome, but then the tracker was lost, heightening his nerves and anticipation.

As Schmautz jogged across the finish line, Entzminger leaped across the gate and got down on one knee next to the signs and asked her to marry him.

After the initial shock and some tears, Schmautz said yes. The crowd went wild.

“I’m overwhelmed, emotional,” Schmautz said right afterwards. “I knew it was coming, but not like this.”


It was a random online shopping find that inspired Brian Sworsky’s and Alysa Erickson’s costumes for the half-marathon this year.

The Oak Grove, Minn., pair found blue socks with the Superman logo on the front and a small red cape on the back, something that definitely attracted attention from a few other runners and spectators inside the Fargodome.

“We used them as a gauge when we were running,” Erickson said. “If they’re not flapping, we weren’t going fast enough.”

Using Superman as their theme, the pair also wore Superman t-shirts.

Sworsky donned some red and blue hair, while Erickson sported some colored hair accessories.

Sandra Stephen and her friends followed a similar theme.

Stephen came from Winnipeg to run the marathon. She and five of her friends all don “Super Friends” capes in the races they run together.

Stephen cheered on her friends as they ran the half marathon, and they returned the favor while she ran the full.

They had registered for the marathon last year but didn’t make it. But this was their year.

Saturday was Stephen’s second time in the metro area, but she left with a good impression.

The bands playing music along the race track helped keep her motivated and pump up her energy for a strong finish.

First love

It was the Fargo Marathon that sparked a love of running for Brigitte Setness of Mitchell, S.D., five years ago.

It was her first marathon, and now she’s completed 19 marathons in 14 states.

Her new goal is to run a marathon in all 50 states.

Due to a knee injury, Setness is aiming to run one marathon a month for a year. This is month nine of her goal, and she admits it’s a struggle.

Despite her injury she was in good spirits as she crossed the finish line for the race that made her love running in marathons.

She smiled and seemed relieved as the race came to a close, apparently pleased with the weather conditions and her running time.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jessica Ballou at (701) 241-5509