Northwoods Adventure-Blue Ox Marathon
The second annual Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon begins with a bang, and the excitement only increases from there. The runners stride away from the Sanford Center down the trails around beautiful Lake Bemidji.
The trees show off their colors for about 700 runners competing in one of three races Saturday: the marathon, the half marathon, or the 26 kilometer lake loop. The runners leave the lake for some road running, fighting the hills along the way.
Then, the runners abandon the highway for a scenic jog through Lake Bemidji State Park.
Tom Ritchie lived in Bemidji until he was 14, leaving for Anchorage, Alaska. Winning the Blue Ox Marathon in 2 hours and 36 minutes serves as a perfect homecoming.
Sarah Kemp, Sauk Rapids, finishes with a personal record of 3 hours and 15 minutes and wins her first marathon in twelve races.
All runners, regardless of where the come from, receive plenty of spectator support.
A fun and healthy event on a beautiful course. The Blue Ox Marathon is slowly becoming as legendary as Babe himself.