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Pioneer Viewpoints: Marathon runs away with it

Last week in this space, we praised organizers for all their hard work to date in putting together a class event for our community, the first-ever Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon.

Now, after the weekend’s festivities, we again can say job well done.

While Mother Nature didn’t cooperate fully — the cool temps weren’t so bad, but the rain and wind could have stayed away — comments we’ve heard all said the events were run smoothly and people had a good time.

At this time last week, organizers were hitting the 800 mark in registered participants. They ended up closing the registration later in the week when the number went past the 900 mark. For a first-year event, this is a phenomenal number and bodes well for future running events in Bemidji.

The weekend’s events also couldn’t have gone off so well without the help of the many volunteers or the backing of many sponsors, including the main sponsor, Sanford Orthopedics Sports Medicine.

Organizers said they wanted a “friendly” marathon, as Joe Froemming reported in Sunday’s Pioneer. They also are thinking about holding the 2014 race at about the same time of year, roughly the first two weekends in October so as not to compete with other area races.

It indeed was a friendly event and we look forward to seeing all the runners, and maybe even a few more, back in 2014.

Big get

In addition to the marathon, last week’s story with the most buzz had to be the news Garrison Keillor was bringing his famous “Prairie Home Companion” show to the Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji on Nov. 9. Keillor said in an email to the Pioneer: “It was a last minute choice, between New York, Portland, Birmingham and Minneapolis, and we choose Bemidji.”

We couldn’t have said it better.

Hunting fatalities

The death of a young man from Nevis, Minn., in a duck hunting accident two weekends ago was another stark reminder of the importance of hunter safety. And avid outdoors person, Adam Poole, 23, had just been married in a hunting-themed wedding only four weeks before his fatal accident.

With the firearms deer hunting season less than a month away, Nov. 9, or the same day as the Keillor event, it is another good time to urge safety above all else when we enter the outdoors.

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