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Steve Wagner, Published July 15 2012

Wagner: Running outside can be a joy, despite the heat

Bemidji, Minn.

We’re not quite to the dog days of summer, but it sure feels like it.

With plenty of heat, and sometimes high humidity thrown into the mix, it can be tough to want to do much of anything outside – let alone run.

Personally, after having run so many marathons in the past few years, it’s easy to want to take a break. But I’ve also always ran my fastest races in the fall, making it difficult to want to ease up.

Since Grandma’s Marathon last month, and a couple big storms blowing through this summer, it’s been hard to get the motivation to run. And the weather doesn’t make it any easier.

However, there’s something I love about running in the heat. A run on a warm summer morning – temperatures regularly have been in the 60s – sharpens my senses to the outdoors. It’s like every sight, smell and sound is amplified. Afterward, I feel clean, and I know I’ve earned every drop of sweat.

Too soon I will lament putting on layers and layers of clothes to combat the harsh winter elements.

While many runners dislike running in hot weather, I’m going to embrace it. And I know it will make me a better runner because we never know what marathon morning will bring.

81 on 81 relay race

On Friday, a unique race comes to the Red River Valley.

Ninety-four relay teams are signed up for the inaugural 81 on 81 race, which starts and ends at Fargo’s Newman Outdoor Field. The popularity of relay races has grown substantially the past five years, with Hood to Coast being the grandest and the Ragnar Relay Series offering multiple events throughout the country.

Best of luck to all the teams and runners.

Upcoming Triathlon events

This also is a popular time for triathlons, with several coming up within the next several weeks.

There are triathlons in Bemidji (Saturday), Walker (July 28), Fergus Falls (July 29) and Nevis (Aug. 11) to give anyone willing to try mixing sports a chance to get hooked on the sport.

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