Saturday was the Fargo Marathon.
For weeks I had gone back and forth whether or not I should sign up J for the 10K. J’s been wanting to do the 10K forever, well, at least since the Fargo Marathon events were cancelled in 2020.
Speaking of the 2020 Fargo Marathon…
If you were around reading this blog last year at this time, you’ll remember that I was struggling to decide if I was going to go ahead and run my first marathon scheduled for late August of last year. I had been training since January, and was supposed to run it in May 2020. Then, of course, it was cancelled, then postponed to August (when surely the pandemic would be over–or at least manageable). But August came, and people from all over the country were about to pour into Fargo right as Fargo’s first surge was gearing up. I was super stressed out–should I throw 8 months of training away and cancel? Should I run it and risk catching COVID (at a time when the vaccine hadn’t been invented yet)? How the heck was I supposed to make a decision?
Luckily for me, I didn’t have to. The marathon committee ended up cancelling again, and I decided to run it virtually, without any regrets.
That didn’t happen this time around. This time around in 2021, the marathon was rescheduled from May to September. Once again, Fargo is right in the middle of a COVID surge. And it’s pretty bad. Like short on hospital beds bad. Staffing shortages, monoclonal antibody rationing. Except this time, there was no cancellation. They decided it was still game on.
I thought about it. I thought long and hard about it. But in August I had booked tickets to see family in Canada (who I haven’t seen in over 2 years) for September 29, and in order to cross the border I have to take a PCR COVID test and test negative 72 hours before I cross. 72 hours meant I would have to take it Sunday, the day after the marathon events–the day after 5,000 people (many outside of Fargo) would be running the race. I wouldn’t be running it, of course, but J would be. Some COVID protocol was in place (masks were strongly encouraged in the Fargodome before and after the race, you were encouraged to bring your own water). But J cheats and sometimes wears his mask as a chin strap, and I know he couldn’t say no to a Gatorade stand. Too many bodily fluids happening in a road race–sweat, spit, snot–and unlike the Boston Marathon, there was no vaccine requirement or, for the unvaccinated, a negative COVID test result before the race.
I finally told J that we would be running our own 10K.
Can I say how selfish I felt with that decision? If I wasn’t trying to get into Canada, I would have let J do it. After all, J LOVES the Fargo Marathon events. He even told his graduating class he would be running the Fargo Marathon 10K. That was, of course, at the end of May, when vaccines were out, numbers were way down, we were headed into “normal” summer, and we thought “normal life again.” But COVID threw a curve ball, and I decided that even though J and I are fully vaccinated that I didn’t want to risk testing positive and miss out on seeing my family I haven’t seen in over 2 years. I promised him Papa Murphy’s cookie dough–which is his favorite thing about the marathon events. He insisted on having Papa Murphy’s pizza too (also post race grub). It seemed we had a deal.
Saturday morning at 10:30, when all of the marathon runners were long gone from our neighborhood, J and I set out to run our little 10K race. That’s when J turned to me and said, “But I wanted to run with all the people.”
Ugh. The worst.
I reminded him of the cookie dough. I promised we would run a road race soon–there’s one scheduled for Halloween weekend that we’ve been talking about. I won’t be travelling then, kids 5-11 should have access to the vaccine, the surge in Fargo should be down by then. But ugh. The disappointment on that kid’s face.
We went out for our run. It was a gorgeous fall morning. The perfect temperature. J was 2 blocks ahead of me the whole time. He truly loves to run. I can say we both placed the best we’ve ever placed in a race (although probably not our best times). J came first overall and first in his gender and age category. I came in second and first in my gender and age category. There were only two participants, but hey, still first and second place glory!
And of course, Papa Murphy’s cookie dough.