I’ve run the last two Fargo Half Marathons. Benjamin Norman, however, has only technically run Fargo once.
Registration is an important step in officially running a race, a step that I stumbled over last year. Side effects of this misstep include depression, anxiety and going to Hornbachers pretending to be a mobster.
Like most of my faults, it wasn’t my fault.
While I am scatterbrained, I have receipts showing I at least thought I’d registered for last year’s race. I paid early in January, though not for the May race. I apparently misfired on my laptop and paid $10 for a charity.
I had not and did not sign up for the Fargo Half. Unbeknownst to me.
After training for four more months, I was ready-ish for the run. Days before the race, I went to the Fargodome with my mom to pick up our gear: shirts, bags and tracking bib. My gear was not there, for my gear did not exist.
All of my training and promises to run with friends seemingly vanished, and, boy, was I upset.
I made my mom take me to Mexican Village. I downed an entire chimichanga. I didn’t go for my run later. I sat in my bed and stewed.
“Have you tried Craigslist?” my resourceful cousin asked after finding out about my plight.
“I don’t need a kidney,” I retorted. Black market aside, I logged on. And that, kids, is how I found my savior.
Her name was Liz, and she had an unspecified injury. Never before had I been so happy to see someone hurt.
She was offering her gear, including tracking bib, for $60 or best offer, which was a steal.
I texted her. She replied. “There is a God!” I cried.
We planned to meet at Hornbachers the next day. Hours before our planned meeting, though, she messaged me that I had been outbid. I began a text but ended up rage-calling her, demanding how much this new high-rolling snake was offering.
“Just $70?” I laughed. “I’ll make it $75. I’m driving to Hornbachers now, and I’ll see you there.”
I hung up the phone. That exchange was the most gangster thing I’ve ever done, and it sealed the deal.
I went into Hornbachers and found Liz, accompanied by her intimidating man-friend. He thought I was part of some mob, probably, so he wore his wife beater.
I was wearing khakis and a t-shirt from high school.
We swapped goods. She asked about how fast I’d hope to run the race.
I told her I was just thankful to be entered in it, albeit as a woman from Duluth.