Overall Rating
Overall Rating (334 Reviews)
4.6
(334 Ratings)  (334 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
3.7
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4.4
The Fargo Marathon is one of the best small-town marathons in the United States, and for good reason. The course offers 26.2 miles (or 13.1 if you opt for the half marathon) of Midwestern charm, a town-wide cheering section, and 50+ live bands and DJs to keep you entertained and motivated. It truly is an experience like no … MORE
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Recent reviews

    cmzuhls REPEAT RUNNER '24

    I missed being in the Dome. There is just something about crossing the finish line inside the Dome and having it shown on the big screen that can't be recreated … MORE

    I missed being in the Dome. There is just something about crossing the finish line inside the Dome and having it shown on the big screen that can’t be recreated outside. Thankfully we had a nice day in ’24. There were not enough porta potties outside. Felt like less of a running community this year. Couldn’t hear the announcer. Just not the same this year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
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    3
    SWAG
    1

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    hillsboroareo REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Can't wait until next year! Staff/volunteers were amazing and organized. The area police did fantastic with traffic. Gotta love the head bob when they acknowledge we are crazy people running..... … MORE

    Can’t wait until next year! Staff/volunteers were amazing and organized. The area police did fantastic with traffic. Gotta love the head bob when they acknowledge we are crazy people running….. Loved the Midwest charm effortlessly built in. The dedicated mile to Mark was touching and a perspective building opportunity during the run. Soul therapy I wasn’t expecting. Hoping for cooler temps next year! 70 F is hot for us ‘northerners’.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    shullrd FIRST-TIMER '24

    I do not think I will repeat the Fargo Marathon. I had my race packet mailed to me and did not attend the expo, so I cannot comment on that. … MORE

    I do not think I will repeat the Fargo Marathon. I had my race packet mailed to me and did not attend the expo, so I cannot comment on that. Race day itself was a mess.

    The course had to be changed due to flooding. The new course was not well marked and there were several places where I got lost. Thankfully I was able to get direction from some of the neighbors. There were several intersections without police or monitors. Cars entered the course at these intersections and it made me feel much less safe on this course than on others I’ve participated in it.

    On a positive note, the course was relatively flat and the support of the neighbors was awesome. The swag for this event was great too. The jacket ran very small, so it may be a bit before I am able to wear that. But the medal is pretty nice.

    DIFFICULTY
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    5

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    LakeWobegon FIRST-TIMER '24

    I’ve heard great things about this race and it lived up to its hype, mostly, for my first marathon. Beautiful sunny day and I’m glad this year’s race started outside … MORE

    I’ve heard great things about this race and it lived up to its hype, mostly, for my first marathon. Beautiful sunny day and I’m glad this year’s race started outside instead of inside the Fargodome. Scenic course through Fargo, Moorhead, three colleges and universities, and many neighborhoods. Great crowd support and a friendly running crowd. One woman told me, I’ve run 40 plus marathons and this is the only one I’ve repeated. Great swag. Nice hoodie jacket for marathoners and huge, classy, heavy finisher medal. The “noisy” announcer Fitz Koehler was the best and yelled out everyone’s name and where they were from when they crossed the finish line. There were a few blips like the course not being marked very well at a few turns and uncontrolled intersections. And no visible snacks other than bottled water at the finish line. But, this was the first year the race director of 20 years, Mark Knutson was not there to help run things. Hopefully the organizers learn from any issues. I’d recommend this race to anyone who wants a fast, flat and friendly experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5

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    honlde REPEAT RUNNER '24

    The crowd support was phenomenal as usual. The new race management needs improvement. I only saw 2 porta potties at the start, needless to say, was not able to use … MORE

    The crowd support was phenomenal as usual. The new race management needs improvement. I only saw 2 porta potties at the start, needless to say, was not able to use in time. Post race goodies were lacking. A solid green banana, generic granola bars and water were the options. Now that I’ve done a variety of races, many have fun themed items for area. The post race beer was also a walk across a busy road. Medal was good. The start and end at done historically is special, but weather was great so didn’t depend on waiting indoors. Mike markers seemed a little off acc to mine (& most people I talked to).

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    graymad32 FIRST-TIMER '24

    This course was super flat, plenty of people to cheer you on, lots of water/Powerade stations, music at almost every corner, and awesome merch to snag before or after the … MORE

    This course was super flat, plenty of people to cheer you on, lots of water/Powerade stations, music at almost every corner, and awesome merch to snag before or after the race! I personally hit a wall 18 miles in, but I still recommend this course for both beginners trying to get a feel for the distance and speedsters looking to get a quick time!

    DIFFICULTY
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    kellyjohn12 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Great SWAG! Wonderful Spectators!!!!! I do wish the after party was at the finish area. It is hard to want to want .3 more miles to get a free beer … MORE

    Great SWAG!
    Wonderful Spectators!!!!!
    I do wish the after party was at the finish area. It is hard to want to want .3 more miles to get a free beer and some food.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    jguerin77 FIRST-TIMER '24

    There were some glitches to this year's race due to the death of the previous years' race director. We did not start or finish inside the Fargodome, and the half … MORE

    There were some glitches to this year’s race due to the death of the previous years’ race director. We did not start or finish inside the Fargodome, and the half marathoners started before the full marathoners which created a little bit of chaos along the course with runners running past me on the left and toward me on the right. I have completed over 60 half marathons, and that was definitely an unwelcome first. The weather was perfect at the start with 50 degrees but got hot by the time we finished. The course was poorly marked and the mileage for the half was mismarked, so that while my Garmin watch was letting me know I was at mile 8, the course sign said I was at mile 7. My watch also said the course was 13.38 long and not 13.1. The course really is flat with just a couple of inclines.
    In spite of that, we went through some nice neighborhoods and had wonderful crowd support from the community. People took it upon themselves to hand out orange and watermelon slices which were greatly appreciated. The volunteers were also fantastic although I think they may have been short a few.
    Wasn’t much in the way of food at the finish line. The jacket and medal we got were nice.
    I had high expectations going into this race based on previous reviews, but it fell short due to being under the direction of a new race director. Hope they get the kinks worked out for next year because I sure enjoyed my time in Fargo!

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    jkotowski FIRST-TIMER '24

    Trying to get a race in all 50 states, this was billed as the one to do in North Dakota. Starting with packet pick up on Friday, there was a … MORE

    Trying to get a race in all 50 states, this was billed as the one to do in North Dakota. Starting with packet pick up on Friday, there was a long line out the door to get into the expo; not a big deal. Realizing the 5k was starting right there on the college grounds was a little disappointing if you’re trying to do a race in all states and the 5k starts and ends in Minnesota but crosses over into North Dakota so I guess technically it counts. The half marathon the next day started outside Fargodome. The course had to be altered due to potential river flooding. There were so many turns going through neighborhoods. The good thing was there was plenty of shade in the neighborhoods. The most scenic part of the run was going through the downtown area? on Broadway, I found that to be the most interesting part of the route. I felt like there weren’t enough aid stations or support. The course also lacked monitors at intersections that made it unsafe for runners. There was a lot of crowd support and music that was great to have. The finish line had water, powerade, granola bars, fruit snacks, maybe some other things I didn’t take. The medals were nice and a challenge medal was given for doing the 5k + half marathon.

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '24

    I chose to do this race for North Dakota because there are limited options and this is by far the most convenient one. If you have read other reviews from … MORE

    I chose to do this race for North Dakota because there are limited options and this is by far the most convenient one. If you have read other reviews from this year you have probably realized there were a few issues. A couple issues seemed outside the races control including the sudden and unfortunate passing of the previous race director and flooding in the area causing last minute course changes. However there was one change that made me nervous and that was that this race is now run by Ventures Endurance. Ventures Endurance is a nationwide race company that has also bought Loco Races in New England and if you have read my recent review of those races (Great Bay & Maine Coast) they have been subpar. Probably the biggest issue with this race was communication. Pre-race communication was inconsistent, inaccurate and very confusing. I signed up as soon as registration opened but a few weeks later the date changed and I never received notification I just saw it updated on the website. There were multiple other changes like this such as the 5K moving to MN, the children’s and dog races moving from the middle of the week to Saturday, etc with limited communication. They also sent an email 1 week before that they had to change the course due to flooding but it was unclear what the new course was and the course start times kept changing. Also the course they posted appeared to be over 13.5 miles. Some of this information was shared on email, some just updated on the website and some just on social media and it was not consistent which method of communication was updated. It was very confusing. I was just planning to arrive in Fargo Friday around noon and roll with the punches. The race starts/finishes outside the Fargo Dome. It used to start/finish inside the Fargo Dome but sadly not this year. All of the hotels near the Fargo Dome were sold out so I stayed at the Holiday Inn near the West Acre mall which was an under 10 minute drive. I opted to rent a car since I couldn’t walk to the start. Although I later found out they did have shuttles at the West Acre mall I could have walked too but then I wouldn’t have had a method to get to the 5K and expo in Moorhead, MN. Again this made planning a mess. For the packet you need to get it before the race but you can have it mailed if you are unable to arrive earlier enough on Friday. I got my packet Friday before the 5K and there were huge lines to get in. It took about 20-30 minutes to get in the expo so I didn’t have time to look around and just got my packet. Packet included bib, drawstring bag and a cool looking jacket but the material was kind of cheap. For race morning I had the option to park at the Fargo Dome or take the shuttle. After the shuttle disasters of Maine Coast, I opted to just park. I arrived about an hour before the race and parking was easy. I parked close to the entry/exit of the lot for an easier in and out though it was a bit of a longer walk to the start of the race. The start area was set up okay but there were not enough porta potties. I went about 40 minutes before the race start and there were already long lines. The start area was set up fairly well. It was one long corral but there were pacers to help you line up. The slowest pacer was 3 hours. I lined up a bit behind the 3 hour pacer. I know my review sounds pretty negative so far but I actually had a very good time as soon as the race started. I will start with the biggest positive which were all the spectators. There were so many spectators along pretty much the entire course. I was very impressed especially for such a small city. The course is also pretty nice. It is very flat with just a few inclines. It is about as scenic as possible for Fargo. It’s mostly though neighborhoods though does go through downtown Fargo including the Fargo theater the most iconic site in Fargo. Production for the race was mixed. I thought the half marathon course at least was fairly well marked thought this does not appear to be true for the full marathon. There was one split though where there were no signs just volunteers telling marathoners to go one direction and half marathoners to go another. There were also adequate aid stations though it was inconsistent whether they had powerade or not. I believe two had gels. There were lots of unofficial aid stations as well. There were not enough course marshals or police support as some intersections had no one directing traffic. Luckily the Fargo drivers were much more polite than the drivers in Buffalo I encountered last weekend so I didn’t have any issues but I could see how there could have been issues for some runners. The biggest issue with the half marathon course was the mile markers. There were accurate mile markers the first 5 miles and I was pacing myself well for around a 3:15 finish though I thought I’d be a little slower if the course was actually 13.5 miles. However then the mile markers disappeared. They didn’t reappear until I saw an 7 mile marker. The issue though was my Garmin was at 8 miles. I wasn’t sure if the mile marker was not accurate or if the course was actually a bit longer than 13.5 miles and my tangents were terrible and I actually had 6 and not 5 miles to go. I then didn’t know what to do with my pacing as my current pace was too fast if there was an extra mile so I slowed down just in case. The mile 8, 9 and 10 markers were also 1 mile off. However about 1/4 mile after the mile 10 marker came the 11 mile marker which seemed correct in the sense it was 2.1 miles from the finish line (though it was at about 11.4 on my Gamin as the course was bit long). My finishing time was pretty good for the long course and the confusing mile markers. I didn’t break 3:15 but I did break 3:20. The race was also very back of the pack friendly which is another positive. The finish line was nice with the announcers cheering the runners on and there is a really, nice and big medal at the end. You also get a medal for doing the Go Far Challenge with the 5K though it was not clear where the challenge medals were. I actually forgot to get my challenge medal and returned about 2 hours later while the marathon was still going on to get it. The finish area was a bit lackluster. There were some water and basic snacks and a stage with a musician. However I heard it takes place on a dry campus so they can’t serve beer so the afterparty was across the street at a Buffalo Wild Wings. I feel like they still could have had pizza and athletic brewing NA beer and made a party at the finish area. I skipped the party at Buffalo Wild Wings as it looked crowded. It took a few extra minutes to get out of the parking lot but wasn’t bad because of where I strategically parked my car. Overall I have very, very mixed feelings on this race. I would rate it between 3 and 4 sneakers though it could easily be a 5 sneaker race with the great spectator support if they could fix the production issues. I ended up giving the 5K 3 sneakers and half 4 sneakers so it averages out to 3.5. Even though this race had issues I’d still recommend it to 50 staters given the convenient location, great spectator support and back of the pack friendliness.

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    CJYooper FIRST-TIMER '24

    With all the great reviews in the past I was expecting a lot more. The course was nice but course management was awful with runners lost and safety issues galore. … MORE

    With all the great reviews in the past I was expecting a lot more. The course was nice but course management was awful with runners lost and safety issues galore. Starting area had a paucity of bathrooms and 40 minute lines Afterparty was an afterthought. The race lost its local director and it is now run by a for profit and it shows. A lot of races were stuffed into one day to maximize profit it appears. The jacket and medal were nice but doesn’t make up for a poorly run event. Simply not nearly the experience it was held out to be…

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    Fargo was a very well run race from the package pick up to the finish line. A lot of the course was in local neighborhoods and while spectators were sporadic … MORE

    Fargo was a very well run race from the package pick up to the finish line. A lot of the course was in local neighborhoods and while spectators were sporadic there were many locals out on their front lawns with music drinks and cheers. This year the weather was perfect start in the low 50s and ended in the low 70s with a slight breeze. Plenty of aid stations, went through a few nice parks and concordia college and downtown Fargo. This was a test marathon after a major surgery six months ago and Fargo did not disappoint.

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    semodlin FIRST-TIMER '24

    Fargo is definitely a must-do race! Unfortunately, Mark Knutson (the founder) died last year, so this was the first year without him. Additionally, there were flooding issues in the days … MORE

    Fargo is definitely a must-do race! Unfortunately, Mark Knutson (the founder) died last year, so this was the first year without him. Additionally, there were flooding issues in the days prior to the marathon, so the course had to be altered a bit at the last minute. Despite these issues, I felt like the RD, volunteers, and management did a great job to set up the races.

    It was on the warm side, but we mainly ran in the shade in the suburbs. Since we mainly ran in the suburbs, I felt like the scenery was gorgeous and beautiful. Lots of people came out to support us and I felt welcomed in this town. There were a decent number of alcohol stops starting at the later half of the race (I stopped 5 times)!

    As for the course, there were LOTS of twists and turns, so it can be challenging to some people. On the plus side, it was like 99% flat with minor hills (less than 200 ft elevation gain). I did much better than I thought! This is my 3rd fastest marathon!

    My biggest complaint was that there were times when the full, half, and 10K runners clashed with each other, so that was hard to navigate a bit. On a related note, the half marathoners started at 7, full marathoners started at 7:15, then 10K runners at 7:30. I didn’t like this breakdown since I feel like there should’ve been more of a break.

    I know tons of people complained about the management, changes, and the setup, but I definitely would love to run Fargo again!

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    Ewags FIRST-TIMER '24

    I think other ravers have acknowledged that it was a rough year for the Fargo marathon. To me it was totally understandable given the passing of the beloved race director, … MORE

    I think other ravers have acknowledged that it was a rough year for the Fargo marathon. To me it was totally understandable given the passing of the beloved race director, and the need to change the course last minute because of flooding. On top of that, it got pretty hot and sunny for the Marathoners! Nevertheless, I think the spirit of the race was there! Friendly volunteers, amazing community support, great communication and excellent swag. The course was flat (but pretty twisty turny) and I feel like I’d had a full tour of the city by the end. A great choice for ND.

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    grimeslaw FIRST-TIMER '24

    First time for me at this race weekend. Did the 5k and 1/2 marathon. I was able to get to the packet pickup early on Friday. That was smooth, and … MORE

    First time for me at this race weekend. Did the 5k and 1/2 marathon. I was able to get to the packet pickup early on Friday. That was smooth, and they had everything I needed. When I showed up for the 5k Friday night, I couldn’t believe how long the line was for people trying to get into the packet pickup then. So, if you’re going to run here, definitely get to the pickup earlier. The 1/2 marathon had some issues. The water stations early on didn’t have water available. The people were slow to fill up the cups, and I ended up passing a couple because they were a mess. Later in the race, the water stations had plenty, but as someone said it was unclear at times what was Powerade and what was the water. Mile markers were missing, and I think the mile 10 marker was placed at mile 11 (very shortly after the mile 10 marker was the mile 11 marker-clearly not 1 mile away). The medals were great. It was easy to walk through the post-race chute and collect food and water. Parking at the Fargodome was easy, but getting out of there was a very slow process. Lots of friendly neighbors throughout the race with orange slices, bananas, ice cubes, music and cheering.

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    lisapoe1988 FIRST-TIMER '24

    I almost signed up for this race last year but I did not train enough and decided not to, I wish I would have. The race director of many years … MORE

    I almost signed up for this race last year but I did not train enough and decided not to, I wish I would have. The race director of many years unfortunately passed away last year.

    I participated in the 5K and full marathon and my kids did the youth run. I registered for this event when it first opened up, at the time it told me the youth run was Thursday night, also for the youth run it only gave sizes as small, medium, large, etc. about a month before the race it was announced the youth run was getting moved to Saturday after the marathon (their dog run got moved to this time as well).

    When I got to packet pick up they were trying to give me adult sizes for the youth run. The packet pickup also did not have many hours and there was no race day packet pick up, you had to get it by 6:30 the night before or you were out of luck. It was about a 30 minute line to get into packet pickup.

    The 5k was Friday night and the roads we ran on were a disaster, many pot holes and very beat up. They did a wave start but had no signs of what paces belong where so we got stuck to back. As we were running, it was frequently running traffic both ways on a small sidewalk and cars going 45 mph right next to us.

    On Saturday morning the half marathon began at 7:00, the marathon at 7:15 and the 10k at 7:25. The courses were a mess. They were not well marked, the 3 events each had their own course but were frequently joining and leaving one another, when there were splits they were not well marked where to go. The first 6 miles of the race had a grand total of 3 porta potties with very long lines. The course was terribly marked and I did not see about half the mile markers. I know many people turned the wrong way. At one point I saw a pretty big turn with a lawn chair and about a 6inch sign saying “turn here” no person in sight to man this turn.

    The youth run was supposed to begin at 2, but the announcer did not even know where the start or the finish was.

    I was very disappointed with the production of this run. I wish I would have signed up a previous year when it was ran well. I unfortunately have no intention on returning to this event.

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    tsfinn23 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Ran this race as a 50 state runner - was really looking forward to running this race. The race expo was ok. Held at Concordia College. I was surprised to … MORE

    Ran this race as a 50 state runner – was really looking forward to running this race.

    The race expo was ok. Held at Concordia College. I was surprised to see a bit of a line, but it moved quickly – everyone was queued up to get a bib. Volunteers did a nice job moving you along. I was in and out quickly.

    Race day typically starts and ends in the Fargo dome, but unfortunately not this year. I should have paid more attention when signing up as this was something I was really looking forward to. Start area was a bit chaotic and bathroom lines were super slow. I barely made it to the start.

    There are 3 distances on course at once – 10K, half and full marathon. Each one has its own start time and each course differs slightly. Half Marathon started first, which was a head scratcher to me on what was predicted to be a hot day. I guess the marathon start was pushed back due to local flooding.

    The course is mostly flat. You run through nice neighborhoods, a park, through Moorhead College and Concordia College. I wasn’t a big fan of all the twists and turns and out and backs. Course wasn’t marked so well and probably half the mile markers were missing. Plenty of aid stations, although it was inconsistent in where you would have water versus power aid. The roads were beat up and I worried about tripping.

    The weather was warm and many areas were exposed. No control over the weather, but June is probably too late.

    Finish area was underwhelming. You pick up your own pretzels, water, fruit snacks and a granola bar off a table. Easy access to the parking lot. Post race party was at Buffalo Wild Wings.

    Swag was very nice. 20th anniversary windbreaker is great and the medal was big and looks very nice

    Overall, it was a decent race. I commend the race organizers for revising the course quickly to avoid flooded areas. I think it was a good race – I just wanted more (specifically the dome start/finish).

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    lchristensen44 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Well organized. One issue we had was finding the expo. Two of us had a link from a race email display an address that was not correct. We’re not sure … MORE

    Well organized. One issue we had was finding the expo. Two of us had a link from a race email display an address that was not correct. We’re not sure how that happened. When we searched for the building outside the link we found the correct address. The course was mostly flat with good course support. There were Lots of local families with their own music and snacks, drinks, ice and even one fireball spot. Nice medal. We got unisex jackets which might be a 20 anniversary one time item – I don’t know. They took really nice free race photos too. The expo had a variety of running essentials.
    The post race celebration was a bit lacking. They had a great DJ but the bananas were very green and the beer ticket had to be redeemed at BW3’s within walking distance from the parking. This is because the university is a dry campus. We didn’t realize that we could walk there until after we had waited to get out of the lot. It looked so packed that we chose to do without.

    It was a good race but it is not cheap to get to Fargo. I think a lot of visitors will need to rent cars on top of their air travel when planning their destination race logistics . For example the expo was miles away from the race course.

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    pbegno FIRST-TIMER '24

    Uff Da - We learned a New Word:) Great Race!! We did the 5K on Friday and Half on Saturday - Would have loved to find another Half for the … MORE

    Uff Da – We learned a New Word:) Great Race!! We did the 5K on Friday and Half on Saturday – Would have loved to find another Half for the Sunday. This was the 20th Anniversary of Fargo Marathon and the first year after the previous race director passed – Great Tribute to Mark Knutson. Expo/Packet Pick up was open on Thursday and we had no problems – Got a cool jacket for half and t-shirt for 5K. Going home with 3 medals for doing both races. We stayed at the LaQuinta – Nice hotel, hot tub, breakfast and dinner on some nights – Bonus race pictures are Free

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    dbierness FIRST-TIMER '24

    BLUF: This was the best after Space Coast for neighborhood support. And it was mostly shaded. Quite pretty! The course was rerouted due to flooding, which made some bits challenging. … MORE

    BLUF: This was the best after Space Coast for neighborhood support. And it was mostly shaded. Quite pretty!

    The course was rerouted due to flooding, which made some bits challenging. Not all intersections were marked, there was a problem with bandit car traffic between miles 5 and 6, the mile markers for miles 8 and 10 for the half were wrong by 1 mile., and the free beer was wayyy too far away.

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