The gods of running smiled upon the Beardsley Marathon Saturday.
There was a record number of runners, and not only was the weather close to perfect, but the city had serendipitously laid down fresh asphalt on East Shore Drive and South Shore Drive just days before the event.
“It was a huge (bonus) for the runners,” said race organizer Mark Knutson. “When you can run on brand new asphalt like that, there’s nothing better.”
Organizers weren’t even aware the city planned to resurface those streets until about 10 days before the race, Knutson said. “The city worked hard to put the layer of asphalt down” early enough to avoid conflicts with the course, he added.
In all, 1,930 people registered for all the events, including the youth run, the 5K walk-run, 10K, half marathon, full marathon and relay.
“We were really, really happy with how it turned out,” Knutson said. “It was a record high for the event – we broke the record from 2010.”
Participants came from 26 states, many of those to participate in the full marathon, he added. “We’re really happy with that,” he said. “Hopefully the hotels, restaurants and retailers were happy with that, too.”
Dick Beardsley, the founder of the event, spoke to runners at the starting gate, and even sang the national anthem in honor of his son, Andrew Jon Beardsley, 31, who served with the Army in Iraq and who died last year. Longtime world marathon coach GP Pearlberg of New Jersey was the finish line announcer.
It was the 21st running of the Dick Beardsley Half Marathon, and the second year of the Dick Beardsley Full Marathon, which is part of Fargo Marathon, Inc., a nonprofit group that promotes physical fitness and mental well-being.
In fact, the group was set to donate 90 pairs of running shoes to elementary school kids in Detroit Lakes today (Wednesday).
Detroit Lakes is a scenic place to hold a marathon, Knutson said. All races started and finished at the Pavilion, and all of the races (5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon) ran along Detroit Lake, featuring plenty of flat stretches and a few rolling hills.
People enjoyed the 10K run-walk, a 6.2-mile along the lakeshore, and the four-person marathon relay gave each person on the team one leg of 6 to 7 miles to complete.
The half and full marathon courses are USA Track & Field Certified, meaning marathoners can now get to the vaunted Boston Marathon through Detroit Lakes.
“It’s a great course for a full marathon, there’s great variety,” said Knutson. “We may mix up the course a bit next year.”
Aid dtations, complete with water and Gatorade, were located every two miles, and there were two medical dropout points for the half marathon and four for the full marathon.
And organizers appreciate all the help and support from people in the Detroit Lakes area.
”It’s a great community to hold this event,” Knutson said. “I hope the community continues to embrace it as they have.”
The top 10 male finishers in the Dick Beardsley Full Marathon:
1) Erik Lynnes,19, time: 2:56:26.
2) Joe Viavattine, 21, time: 2:58:11.
3) Rj Pire, 30, time: 2:58:55.
4) Troy Ivesdal, 44, time: 2:59:59.
5) James Brand, 36, time: 3:01:44.
6) Alexander Wepsala, 29, time: 3:02:42.
7) Nathan Gruber, 39, time: 3:10:03.
8) Ryan Lewandowski, 30, time: 3:10:47.
9) Bjorn Engstrom, 40, time: 3:13:44.
10) Mark Roberts, 49, time: 3:32:06.
The top 10 female finishers in the Dick Beardsley Full Marathon:
1) Sonya Decker, 50, time: 3:21:35.
2) Jessica Nelson, 27, time: 3:22:00.
3) Thea Fleming, 33, time: 3:22:28.
4) Brittany Hubbard, 32, time: 3:27:51.
5) Teri Sharp, 36, time: 3:29:17.
6) Bonnie Ritchotte, 43, time: 3:33:01.
7) Casey Schwarz, 35, time: 3:35:20.
8) Cindy Lewandowski, 54, time: 3:36:29.
9) Amanda Peters, 23, time: 3:36:43.
10) Stephanie Mason, 38, time: 3:46:36