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Helmut Schmidt, Published May 19 2012

Final finisher in Fargo Marathon says race volunteer kept him from quitting

FARGO - Somebody’s got to be the last guy to finish a race.

For Saturday’s Fargo Marathon, that guy was Bill Keen of Cedar Lake, Ind.

Keen’s time for the 26.2-mile course was 6:52:38, just under the 7-hour cutoff time for this year’s race.

“I’ve got to tell you: Coming up, seeing the dome was the most beautiful sight of my life,” the 41-year-old said.

It was Keen’s 14th marathon, and he said he was still happy and proud to have finished.

“Somebody’s going to finish last,” he said.

Keen thanked spectators and a race volunteer on a bike who encouraged him to keep going after he ran out of gas at the race’s 20th mile.

“If she weren’t there to (encourage me), I would have quit,” said Keen, who said he’d return to race in Fargo again next year.