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Published May 16 2013

Editorial Marathon has grown into one of the best-run in nation

It’s hard to believe the Fargo Marathon is nearing its 10th birthday. When planning began about a decade ago, few expected the event to become the premiere spring event in Fargo, and one of the major outdoor events the city hosts every year. From a modest first run nine years ago, the marathon events, which started Thursday and continue today and Saturday, will attract more than 21,000 runners in several categories of competition and fun runs.

Credit a team of dedicated marathon organizers with the success. They have built the Fargo event into a must-run run for serious marathoners. It has become, according to runners who routinely make the national marathon circuit, one of the best, if not the best, of small-city marathons.

Credit also must be given to a host city that loves the event. Official Fargo is fully on board to provide the necessary police presence, street closings, traffic control and other preliminary preparations and post-run cleanup. It could not be done without the willing cooperation of City Hall, police and others in local government, and a cadre of well-prepared volunteers.

But what is among the more remarkable features of the Fargo Marathon, according to runners who come back year after year, is the welcome mat put out by the residents of the city’s neighborhoods. Almost the entire 26-plus miles of the full marathon route will be lined with cheering sections, water stations, food booths and entertainment tents. It’s become a genuine city party, and runners – serious and not so serious – appreciate the way the people of Fargo have embraced the event.

Sure, it’s a tad inconvenient for motorists trying to negotiate the area closed by the long marathon circuit. But by now folks know enough to find alternate routes on marathon days. Check the maps published in The Forum.

We welcome the thousands of runners in town for the runs and associated events. The weather, always a wild card, looks almost ideal, with the possibility of scattered thundershowers. So have a good time, compete hard and enjoy Fargo’s open-arms hospitality.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum

management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.