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Wendy Reuer, Published October 08 2013

Park Board allows 2014 Fargo Marathon to use Island Park

FARGO – A historic park here will be included next spring’s Fargo Marathon.

The Fargo Park Board decided Tuesday to allow the Fargo Marathon to use Island Park as part of the marathon route.

Fargo Marathon officials announced earlier this year that the 2014 marathon route for its 10th anniversary May 9 and 10 would be moved from the Fargodome area to downtown Fargo.

The 5K on May 9, which is expected to draw up to 10,000 runners, will begin at the Fargo Civic Center and end at Island Park, said Dave Leker, Fargo parks director.

Marathon officials want to use the park as the staging area for a celebration after the run, with a live band and possibly a beer garden area if the event is approved by the city.

On May 10, Island Park would act as a staging area for the half-marathon. Runners of the full-marathon and 10K race would be staged at the Civic Center, Leker said.

Leker told the Park Board Tuesday that marathon attendees will not be allowed to park on the Island Park grass to avoid damage, but the district may have to clean up after some heavy foot traffic.

“The use of Island Park, if it doesn’t work out, it’s just something we will not recommend in the future,” said Roger Gress, executive director of the Park District.

The Park Board unanimously approved the marathon’s plan.

“I think it’s fun to be a part of a big community event like this and I think it showcases the Park District,” Park Board Commissioner Barb Johnson said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530