Every year we’re excited to see our community enlivened with participants traveling from near and far to be a part of the Grand Forks Marathon weekend. Last year alone we had over 2,140 participants come out and complete over 16,820 miles exploring our city on the course! This 6th year is chalking up to be just as thrilling as we welcome a new runner from New York City on his unique goal – standing his way across the United States.
We have an extremely special guest joining us this year to not only participate in running the full marathon, but also sing both the United States and Canadian national anthems come race day! Race connoisseur, seasoned vocalist, and self-proclaimed “travel junkie”, Jim Diego of New York City is on a mission to run full marathons in all 50 United States! To take it a step further, he’s pursuing the challenge of certifying a world record for singing the national anthem and then immediately running a half or full marathon after in all 50 states, too!
First jumping on the running train back in 2013, Jim started out with races from 5K to 10K distances before completing his first half marathon in 2014. Fast-forward a few years and his impressive accomplishments now include finishing 85 half marathons and 47 full marathons in 35 states, D.C., and 7 different countries. What is his favorite part of the entire journey? “Traveling to new places and experiencing them in a completely different way,” says Jim.
The Grand Forks Marathon will be Jim’s 36th state to run a full marathon in, and mark his 36th state to sing the national anthem! It will also mark the 2nd time ever that he has sung both the Star-Spangled Banner and O Canada at the start of the race. We are thrilled to have him joining us for the Grand Forks Marathon weekend – help us welcome Jim to our community and be on the lookout for his signature victory headstand at the end of the race!
From right to left, Jim Diego sporting his signature victory headstand after his races in Washington D.C., Austin, TX, and Toronto, Canada.
Follow Jim’s race adventures: