Published on May 17, 2022

Ready, set, race: Essentia Health sponsoring this week’s 18th annual Fargo Marathon

Essentia Health Fargo Marathon Logo

Essentia Health is proud to serve as the sponsor of the 18th annual Fargo Marathon, North Dakota’s pre-eminent health-related event. Marathon activities are scheduled throughout this week. 

The Essentia Health Fargo Marathon attracts thousands of participants from across the United States to the greater Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community. Starting at the Fargodome, which is awash in anxious energy on race morning, the running and walking events tour Fargo and Moorhead residential streets, college campuses, trails along the Red River and through historic downtown Fargo. Over 50 live bands and DJs and multiple block parties create a festive atmosphere along the course.

“We are honored to partner with this incredible event, which does so much good in our region,” said Al Hurley, chief operating officer for Essentia’s West Market. “Our mission is to make a healthy difference in people’s lives, and giving back to the communities we are blessed to serve is one way we live out that mission.”

Essentia signed a three-year title-sponsor partnership with the Fargo Marathon.

Back on track

We are excited that this year’s Fargo Marathon is back in full swing after two years of cancellations and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, this year’s marathon is the first to take place in the traditional May time slot since 2019. The 2021 race was held last September.


About 100 of our colleagues at Essentia Health will be volunteering at Fargo Marathon events. From presenting medals at the finish line to handing out water at our first aid stations, the work of our volunteers is essential for a successful event, and we could not be more grateful for their contributions.

Since Essentia is overseeing medical care at the marathon, many of our providers will be volunteering at first aid stations or the medical tent. Specifically, there will be three first aid stations along the half- and full-marathon course equipped with a first aid kit, ice, water and Powerade for runners. The medical tent located near the finish line will serve as a mini emergency room and will be staffed by providers, registered nurses, paramedics, athletic trainers and EMTs.

Volunteer spotlight: John Breiland

John Breiland, a nurse in the emergency room at Essentia Health-Fargo, has been volunteering at the Fargo Marathon since its first year in 2005.

John said he has only missed two or three races when he was scheduled to work in the ER. He will be volunteering at the mini emergency room at the end of the race on Saturday.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” John says. “It’s exciting to see these runners go by in all different age groups. You will see some young kids running the marathon and you will also see those in their 60s, 70s and even 80s running the marathon. It’s just unbelievable that these people can do that.”

Running tips

Over the past few months, many of our providers have been assisting runners as they train for race day, whether it’s the full 26.2 miles or five kilometers. Essentia Health physical therapist Ruth Ann Halls and her colleagues have been outlining running advice, from preventing overuse injuries to finding the correct shoes and running while pregnant, in a series called the Essentia Health Marathon Minute.

If you are a runner seeking some last-minute advice, check out the Marathon Minute videos below.

Training to run your race

Strength and flexibility for runners

Dealing with tight calves

Gluteal weakness and IT band

Finding the right running footwear

Running during pregnancy

Cross training

Schedule of events

6:30 p.m. Monday, May 16: Cyclothon (15- and 26.2-mile cycling races)

6:30 p.m. Tuesday: FurGo Dog Run (about a two-mile walk/run with dogs)

6:30 p.m. Thursday: Children’s Youth Run

6:30 p.m. Friday: Friday Night 5K

7 a.m. Saturday: Fargo Half Marathon

7:10 a.m. Saturday: Fargo Marathon

7:20 a.m. Saturday: Fargo 10K