“Run for fun.”

This morning, I did something I haven’t done in a really long time. I ran a race purely for the enjoyment of it – and not for a time.

The Fargo Mini Marathon is an annual half marathon, 10k and 5k event put on by the good folks of Go Far Events (the company behind the Fargo Marathon and several other great races throughout the year in Fargo). Back in the day, the race used to be held downtown, with the course following the Red River and all the beautiful trails that are my favorite running trails. Plus, because it’s always an October race, the leaves are changing color and crunchy underfoot. The past couple years, however, the event moved to a newer part of town. No trees. No scenery. The race was still enjoyable and Go Far Events always puts on well-organized events but the course went from awesome to not great. Imagine my excitement when I discovered the event was headed back downtown this year! I knew I had to take advantage of running this beautiful course on a fall day (my favorite time to run) so I wanted to do the half – I just didn’t realize how quickly I’d have to get in shape to do so.

Sportin the all-important finisher shirt after I ran the half marathon

Sportin my finisher shirt after I ran the half marathon

Almost three weeks ago, the longest run I had done since my full marathon in May was about 6.5 miles. Fall is usually my racing season, where distance is not a concern, speed and shorter runs is my focus. That didn’t deter me from taking a leap and signing up for the half anyway. Less than three weeks til race day meant I had only two long runs to prepare (an 8-miler and an 11-miler) so I knew I wouldn’t be in my best shape to run the race of my life. So I decided to go out and just run for fun. Forget about my watch and enjoy the race for what it was – a beautiful day and a great course.

Now that being said, the overly competitive runner side of me came out a few times and I did push it a little bit! Despite some stomach troubles early on and a little pain in my hip around mile 10, I finished in 1:47:35, a time far from a PR but still pretty good! I loved the course, loved the spectators and volunteers, loved the fact I was given my finisher’s shirt after I actually finished the race and really loved the cookie dough handed out at the finish line hospitality table. Major win for Go Far Events and the Fargo Mini Marathon.

Do you usually run races with a specific time goal in mind or are you more of a “run just for fun” runner? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.

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