Clear, cool, and flat. These were the best parts of the Inaugural Wild Hog Marathon, held in Grand Forks the last weekend in September. 1,600 racers from all over the U.S. and Canada came out to participate in the event, twice as many as expected. Pretty much, the event was a success!
The day started out with a chill in the air and runners were moving around to get warmed up or heading to the heated tent to avoid stiffening up. Racers for the half marathon started lining up and getting ready to run as rock music blaired to pump them up. They sang the Star Spangled Banner, followed by O’ Canada (I knew some of the words). Count down to run! Half Marathon started.
Participants for the 10k run starting lining up and once again rock music filled the air to pump them up. I was ready to do this. The day was perfect for running – cool enough that we wouldn’t get too hot while running. The course was also quite nice. We ran through the residential areas close to the river where the roads are nice and flat. And since we were running through neighborhoods, homeowners were able to come out to their curb and cheer us on. It was fun to see the homemade signs and overall support from the community.
After crossing the finish line we were awarded these very cool medals. I especially liked the reverse side which featured the backside of the pig with a fork stuck in it. They also provided water, fresh fruit, ice cream sandwiches, pork sandwiches and other goodies. Yum!
I would like to extend a big thanks to all the volunteers who came out to support the runners along the course. They provided water to participants, as well as encouragement. The Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals manned one of the aid stations along the half marathon route. They had a blast and were very encouraging to the runners with their enthusiasm and excitement.
I am looking forward to next year’s race to see how the race committee improves from year to year. Hopefully we’ll be able to see a full marathon to accompany the races that were held this year. This is an event that will continue to grow and show everyone how great Grand Forks is. It will be nice to see everyone come out for the race again next year!
– Jill Baird