81 on 81: A Relay Race Like No Other
by Kiersten Cooley, KVRR Reporter
July 21, 2012
Hundreds of runners hit the pavement for nearly a hundred miles, making long strides all over the Valley.
Fargo's first overnight relay run called 81 on 81 finished up Saturday.
It takes a little insanity and a lot of passion.
Runner Brad Muscha of West Fargo said, “It was kind of different. You stayed up through the night supporting each other. It was fun.”
“You've got to be a little bit crazy to run that far,” said Allan Baer of Lake Park, MN.
To run an 81 mile relay race along highway 81, while most people were fast asleep.
Hope Barta of West Fargo said, “I'm getting nervous. We've been up all night so we'll see how it goes.”
“I had to go first because I have MS and running in the heat is usually very hard for me,” said Sheri Paulson of Galesburg, ND.
Ninety five teams of six or twelve competed against each other.
“Our name is ‘The Most Interesting Girls in the World’ off the Dos Equis commercial,” Barta said.
They began in Fargo with each person running a different leg of the race, or sometimes two.
Race director Mark Knutson said, “Teams trekked up to Hillsboro, turned around and came back. It was great.”
“I'm going to run the last leg in the 81 relay,” Barta said.
“Just kind of keep leap frogging down the way,” Muscha added.
The long trek along 81 ended at Newman Outdoor Field where runners crossed the finish line.
“I feel great!” Bear said right after finishing.
But even greater than the feelings of accomplishment, came the joy in completing a lengthy goal with help from friends.
“The camaraderie, meeting new people, and forming friendships along the way. It's just a fun atmosphere and I love it,” Paulson said.
“Ah it feels great! Just a wonderful event hands down from start to finish,” said Baer.
A finish certainly worth celebrating.
Money raised from the event goes to Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit that fixes homes for people in need.