FARGO — For probably the 12th time in Sanford Fargo Marathon’s 15-year history, race organizers called an audible on the 26.2-mile route. This time, the spring flood and road construction were the hurdles.
It essentially looks the same for the May 18 race day, but takes out a couple low-lying roads and avoids the road construction on Main Avenue in Fargo near the Veterans Memorial Bridge. The race will still head into Moorhead and run through Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead, areas that were in question as late as last week.
“We worked really hard to keep Moorhead in the equation,” said marathon executive director Mark Knutson. “It wasn’t so much the flood as the road construction with Main Avenue being out.”
The Veterans Bridge is still being used with the current route, but runners will take an immediate left on Second Street South around Mile 17 of the race. Next week, the bridge on NP Avenue is expected to be out of service.
“There couldn’t be a more perfect storm making it more difficult with flooding and two of three bridges with construction,” Knutson said. “But we were able to make it work, we got creative.”
Knutson said the route got the blessing of governmental bodies with both cities. He expects the planned route for this year to be back in play in 2020.
“Knock on wood that everything is in place,” he said. The half-marathon route also was adjusted because of the same issues.