This is part of a series of posts from my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states. North Dakota was my 16th state.
North Dakota was completely unexplored territory for me in 2009 when I signed up for the Kroll’s Diner Bismarck Marathon and Half Marathon. At the time, I hadn’t been anywhere near Bismarck or anywhere in North Dakota for that matter.
I got a long-sleeve white technical shirt with the race logo on the front at packet pickup, which was quick and easy to get in and out of. The race started at 7:30 am and it was in the mid-50’s then, so weather-wise, we had ideal racing conditions. The start and finish were at a nice park but the rest of the course was pretty uneventful and not very scenic.
Much of the race course was along running trails that were mostly flat. It was an out-and-back course with a loop during the first part. There were sufficient water stops with good volunteers but sporadic crowd support. I felt like the finish line was upon me suddenly, with the many twists and turns of the park trails, and my finish time was 1:59:00.
At the finish, I was handed a pretty hefty medal with the race logo on it that matched the shirt I had picked up at packet pickup. Overall, this was not a particularly bad race, there just was nothing exciting or out of the ordinary about it. If you do run this race, the race website always has hotel discounts every year so check there before you make reservations.
My family and I found Bismarck to be a very depressed area with not much to do. I would only recommend this race if you’re going to be in Bismarck anyway and are looking for a good half marathon while you’re there. It’s not bad for a half marathon, it’s just that there are better ones out there in my opinion from what I’ve since seen and heard from other runners. South Dakota on the other hand, was a completely different story, but I wouldn’t discover that until years later.