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Forecast for Sanford Fargo Marathon will require planning on what to wear

Participants take off at the start on Thursday, May 17, during the half-mile Fargo Marathon Youth Run at the Fargodome. David Samson / Forum News Service1 / 2
Participants brave the rain showers on Thursday, May 17, 2018, during the half-mile Fargo Marathon Youth Run at the Fargodome. David Samson / Forum News Service2 / 2

FARGO—Cold and windy. But at least rain is out of the forecast for the Sanford Fargo Marathon on Saturday, May 19.

It's a forecast that is going to require some planning for most of the pack running either the 13.1-mile half marathon or the 26.2-mile full marathon. Race time temperatures around 7 a.m. are expected to be in the mid-40s, said WDAY chief meteorologist John Wheeler.

It's expected to gradually warm to the mid-50s by noon with cloudy skies in the morning gradually thinning as the day wears on. The wind, however, will be a factor out of the north at 15 mph that will carry gusts between 20-30 mph throughout the races.

"That's quite windy, and it's pretty much a due north wind," Wheeler said. "The last five miles of the marathon will be into a head wind."

Because of the combination of temperature and wind, a wind chill factor could come into play.

"Bear in mind you'll be dealing with weather where you'll have wind chills that technically will be near freezing," Wheeler said. "You don't have to worry about rain so that helps a lot."

With a forecast like that, planning on what to wear could be critical to performance. Wheeler, a runner who has completed 12 half marathons, recommends wearing a layer you can discard or throw away.

Also, know what types of material best handle this kind of weather.

"There's a difference on this one between the elite and the everyday runners," Wheeler said. "The elite know what to do. The everyday runners need to be aware if you're going to be out in these conditions for two hours for the half or four or five hours or longer for the full that you're going to need to be covered up. If you're all covered in sweat and your clothes get wet, hypothermia becomes a concern if you're not prepared."

Moreover, don't let the cooler temperatures fool you into not hydrating properly.

"That's one thing the less-experienced runners may not know," Wheeler said. "Because you're wearing more clothes, there are times where you're going to get warm and obviously that wind is an evaporating wind so you'll lose a lot of water, even though it's cold. Hydrating before and taking advantage of all the water stops will be important for everybody."

Injury will test 'Charter Club' quest

This is the 14th annual marathon and the "Charter Club" list is dwindling in numbers.

There are 21 runners remaining who completed the first 13 marathons, and it may not get any smaller after this year, with 20 of the 21 registered as of early Thursday afternoon.

Eight are from Fargo: Richard Bailly, Cindy Deuser, Paul Frank, Laura McDaniel, Patrick Millard, Kendall Railing, Chuck Roos and Ben Thomas. Dave Thompson and Colin Moran are from West Fargo, Dean Bloch from Dilworth and Russel Crume from Glyndon, Minn. The others are from out of the area including Jeremy Dworshak from North St. Paul, Minn.

He may have to run with pain this year. Dworshak injured the big toe on his left foot while playing with his kids last Sunday to the point where he thinks he may have broken it.

The swelling has gone down this week, at least enough to attempt the marathon on Saturday morning.

"Yes, I'm guessing there will be some pain in my toe over the 26.2 miles," Dworshak said.

For the fans along the route, he'll be wearing bib No. 526.

"I'll need all the positive vibes I can get," Dworshak said.

App follows runners in real time

Fans can follow runners along the course in real time thanks to a smart phone app called "Sporthive live." Simply download the free app, sign up and enter the registered runner or runners you're looking for.

The app also has a course map, schedule, event map, race day parking map and frequently asked Sanford Fargo Marathon questions.

Results will also be available on the marathon website at

Jeff Kolpack

Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.

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