Sunday, May 20, 2007

The road to Fargo

PART I

Most people hear the word “Fargo,” and they probably think of the movie with the bad Minnesota accents that didn’t even really take place in Fargo.

However, when I think of Fargo, I will think of a beautiful city, great people, and one fantastic race.

I have returned from my adventures at the Fargo Half Marathon in Fargo, ND, and I had the best time!

I arrived in Fargo after a journey across west central Minnesota trying to locate some interesting pieces of roadside architecture for my Searching For Minnesota blog. And west central Minnesota has some fine examples. Did you know we Minnesota was home to the statue of a large American coot? :)

Ashby, MN, home of one large American coot!



Packet pickup was at the Fargodome, which served as the race headquarters. A gorgeous arena, and although it is smaller in scale, it is light years nicer than the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

My hotel was right next to the Fargodome, and I think everyone staying there was here for the race. Nothing but fit looking people checking in and milling around the lobby! In fact, I saw this SUV in the parking lot that was appropriately pimped out for the weekend.

SUV complete with the motivational option package



Packet pickup was smooth, the volunteers were awesome, and the schwag was sweet! Runners not only got a long-sleeved technical running shirt with a zip collar, but we also got an Adidas gear bag. Nice!

On the way out, some folks from Scheels (the race title sponsor) were taking pictures of the runners against a backdrop of some Adidas elite athletes, so I stopped for a pic.

Yours truly hanging with Becks and Gilbert



With my packet successfully picked up, it was time to search for some food. It seems there are few Italian restaurants in the area (at least ones that don’t rhyme with “Olive Garden” or “Carino’s”). Thankfully, my family tipped me off to one across the river in Moorhead, MN.

I ate at the Speak Easy, a popular old-style, Italian-American red sauce joint. A fresh salad, some garlic bread, and a plate of mostaccioli with meat sauce (topped with fried mushrooms as well!) was just what this runner needed to fuel up for tomorrow.

The mostaccioli at the Speak Easy in Moorhead, MN



After dinner, I retired to the hotel to rest up. Rest did not come easy as some big time thunderstorms rumbled through the area. There was some seriously heavy rain and lots of lightning, and the satellite TV actually got knocked out for a time. It had been a hot day (I saw 91 on my car thermometer), so I figured a front was moving through, which would cool things down for tomorrow.
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