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Fargo Marathon's Move to Downtown Raising Concerns - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Marathon's Move to Downtown Raising Concerns

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Updated Story 10:30pm:

Back in 2005, there where 2,500 runners who took off for the first-ever Fargo Marathon. Next year, the marathon will return to that very spot with 10 times the number of runners!

To celebrate their 10-year milestone,  marathon organizers have announced this coming May runners will be starting and finishing their race in Downtown Fargo. Veterans Memorial Bridge will be the starting line for marathoners, while the Fargo Theater is the new finish line.

"I just think it's so exciting because the Fargo theatre is such a landmark." Cindy O'Day says. She is a downtown business owner who doesn't mind the finish line being across her store doors. But unlike Cindy's positive outlook, many people on Facebook shared their concerns. 

Some said that having 1,500 spectators standing on the side will be uncomfortable. Some questioned the parking issue, many said they didn't want another event downtown that will block off streets. And a few mentioned they may not be running this coming year.

"We're well aware of the logistical challenges of parking and getting around, thousands of people come down here to watch it, we think if we finish down here it will be a big boost for the retailers and restaurants, everybody that works down here." Marathon Executive Director Mark Knutson says.

Some of the businesses said if the streets are going to be shut down for more than a day, it's going to effect their sales.

"Anytime there's a change in traffic or if Broadway's closed it, you know as a downtown business owner you think how's this going to impact me, however we hope that people will stay downtown and meander through some of the shops." Beyond Running Co-Owner Sally Loeffler says.

"I think it will be hectic but it will be kind of fun, you keeping it together keeping it compact the energy's going to be great!" Says Jon Melgaard.

Marathon organizers say they will be blocking off the roads on Thursday night for the Kids Marathon, Friday night for the 5K,  and then all day Saturday until 11 PM for the Marathon.
 
The date of the 2014 Fargo Marathon was originally set for May 15-17, but the weekend conflicted with graduation /commencement for several area colleges. 

After discussions with our committee members and board members, the marathon staff decided to move the date of the 2014 Fargo Marathon weekend back to May 8-10.

Fargodome General Manager Rob Sobolik says they didn't know of the new plans until a few weeks ago. Saying it is revenue they've lost. Knutson says this decision is something they wanted to do special for their 10 year anniversary, also adding it is for one year only.



Original Story:

The 2014 Scheels Fargo Marathon will be celebrating its 10 Year Anniversary next May, and the organizers of the event announced Wednesday that they will be making some major changes to next year's event.

"This entire community is what makes the Fargo Marathon weekend, and this year we have some really great surprises in store that everybody is going to be really excited about - this is going to be one for the history books." said Mark Knutson, the Executive Director of the Fargo Marathon.  

The race will start on the Main Avenue bridge, like it did in 2005, but Knutson says one of the biggest changes is that the finish line will be at the Fargo Theater in downtown Fargo.  He says the Fargo Marathon staff recognize some challenges the route may pose, but also is excited to invite everyone to enjoy Fargo's downtown atmosphere.

"We're well aware of the logistical challenges of parking and getting around, but we're also well aware that Broadway has been an integral part of the marathon. Thousands of people come down here to watch it, we think if we finish down here it will be a big boost for the retailers and restaurants, everybody that works down here."

The race theme is "Runnin' & Rockin' from the Bridge to Broadway!" and marathon weekend is May 15-17, 2014.

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