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Mike Kohler lined up for his first half-marathon on Saturday. The Sanford Fargo Marathon takes place in Fargo, North Dakota. Kohler had previously run both a 5 and 10K, but had yet to attempt a 21.1K race.
Kohler was under the impression that both the marathon and half-marathon began at the same time, 7 a.m. But in reality, the half-marathon started 15 minutes later than the marathon. At the first fork in the road, Kohler turned north when half-marathoners were supposed to turn south.
Kohler was worried when he began seeing signs for the “full marathon” but assumed that the courses converged for a while.
He realized his mistake around the 13 kilometre mark when he saw runners passing on a nearby bridge. He then noticed that he was headed toward an area called “Moorhead” where he was certain the half-marathon didn’t pass through.
Reportedly, Kohler aimed to run 21.2K, the distance he had anticipated, but when he arrived at the half-marathon mark, he decided to complete the full distance. Kohler finished the full marathon in a time of 5:54.26.