Spring into shape in North Dakota

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North Dakota’s temperatures are on the rise and fitness enthusiasts are busy training for warm-weather competitions. Whether you’re looking to test your personal limits or find some camaraderie, there is a race for you in North Dakota. And now is the perfect time to put mind over matter and get busy getting fit.

Endurance running is a form of continuous running over a distance of at least eight miles. In the last decade, the popularity of endurance sporting events has increased dramatically in the United States, and North Dakota is no exception. The Fargo Marathon is held every year in May and includes several days of events, including a half-marathon and 10K race. Extreme North Dakota Racing hosts ultra-runners in March in McLeod for the Extreme North Dakota Sandhills Ultra-Run Experience in the beautiful Sheyenne National Grasslands. The END-SPAR (Extreme North Dakota Spring Primer Adventure Race) is an annual ‘sprint’ distance (four to six hours) race designed for racers interested in learning more about adventure racing, without the commitment to a long race. In July, runners can sample a slice of North Dakota’s famously rugged Maah Daah Hey Trail during an endurance race that traverses the Badlands.

Bikers, get on your wind trainers. The goal is to be ready for races starting in April and May, when North Dakota’s roads and trails are rideable. The Burleigh County Cup in Bismarck is back for its seventh year and its organizers are on a mission “to bring grass roots cycling culture and events to central North Dakota, keeping the local cycling scene burning hot while partnering with riders who are willing to help stoke the fire.” The Burleigh County Bicycle Club (BCBC) is hosting the Scorch and Torch Mountain Bike Race at Sleepy Hollow Park in Bismarck this June.

The Badlands Gravel Battle is a grueling race that covers 120 miles with more than 8,000 feet of elevation gain and loss along North Dakota’s back-country, red scoria roads. Be sure to include the CaNDak (formerly CANDISC) ride on your short list as it takes you on a tour through the rolling hills of central North Dakota.