Fargo Marathon 2023


Fargo Marathon

Gerad Mead, hailing from Robbinsdale, Minn., has made the Essentia Fargo Marathon his customary destination. Acting as a pacer for the 26.2-mile route, he will lead the three-hour finish seekers on Saturday morning.

Adding to his excitement, the 43-year-old Mead achieved a delightful bonus a day prior, triumphing in the Friday Night 5K with a significant lead. Clocking in at 16 minutes and 32 seconds, this marked his swiftest time in that distance over the past seven years, at the very least.

This victory becomes his second within a span of three months, having previously seized first place in a Texas 5K back in March.

His triumphs span various distances, showcasing his versatility. Among them, he deems the Dances With Dirt 50K in Baraboo, Wis., in 2018 as his most cherished conquest, completing it in an impressive 4 hours, 26 minutes, and 43 seconds.

Mead’s journey from finishing 91st in a Wisconsin race in 2015 to attaining five top-five finishes in the state from 2016 to 2021 serves as a testament to the remarkable improvement distance runners can achieve in their 30s and 40s.

Mead’s passion for running ignited during his college years, although he did not compete collegiately. Originally motivated by weight loss, he found himself unable to quit. After completing his inaugural marathon in 2005, he has successfully conquered a staggering 90 marathons since then. Becoming a marathon pacer was a natural progression facilitated by a network of friends.

The ambiance of the Fargo Marathon captivates Mead, providing a compelling reason for him to keep coming back.

As the Fargodome’s floor witnessed the commencement of the race with over 4,000 participants, Mead swiftly departed through the north garage door and up the ramp. Astonishingly, before the last of the runners could leave the premises, Mead returned in a sprint, triumphantly crossing the finish line inside the building.

Securing the second position was Jesse Prince from Bemidji, Minn., with a time of 17:06, closely followed by Fargo’s own Brandon Polchow, who finished third at 17:22.

In the women’s division, Bridget Henne from Fargo claimed victory, completing the race in an impressive 18:44. Similarly unchallenged like Mead, she finished almost two minutes ahead of Adrienne Morgart from Platte City, Mo.

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