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Published May 10, 2014, 10:55 AM

VIDEO: Utah's Papenberg wins women's Fargo Marathon

FARGO – The weather aligned for the 10th annual Fargo Marathon, treating thousands of runners to almost perfect running conditions. For Kate Papenberg, the stars aligned on Saturday.

By: Jeff Kolpack, INFORUM

FARGO – The weather aligned for the 10th annual Fargo Marathon, treating thousands of runners to almost perfect running conditions. For Kate Papenberg, the stars aligned on Saturday.

The aircraft maintenance officer at Hill Air Force Base had some time off this month, so she went looking for a marathon. The internet search turned up the Fargo race, so she got in her car in Ogden, Utah, and took the long drive.

Certainly, her 26.2-mile tour around Fargo and Moorhead was shorter and more enjoyable. She won the race in a time of 2:53.18 that will forever leave a memorable mark with her.

“Just hearing the people, it almost brings you to tears with the support in this community,” Papenberg said. “It’s amazing.”

For a while, Papenberg figured it would be amazing if she caught leader Andrea Rediger from Minneapolis, who threatened to put everybody in her rear-view mirror. It wasn’t until a turnaround point in south Fargo did Papenberg realize she had a chance.

She estimated she was only 60 to 90 seconds behind – less than what she figured.

“I didn’t think I had a shot until then,” she said. “Then I realized I can go after her.”

Rediger still had the lead at mile 20, but it was the 27-year-old Papenberg who was the stronger runner in the last six miles. It was her second career marathon win, with the other the Air Force Marathon in 2009.

“I always look to win. Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” she said. “I was taken aback the way that gal went out in the first mile, but I was able to reel her in.”

She won $1,500 for reeling her in. Her time was easily a personal record, topping a 2:57.28 that qualified her for elite status in the Fargo Marathon.

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