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Inaugural Mark Knutson Friday Night 5K Features First Place in Women’s Race – InForum

FARGO — The inaugural Mark Knutson Friday Night 5K — named in memory of the marathon’s late race director and founder — featured a pair of top-place finishers in the women’s race.

Fargo’s Lily Elbert — the daughter of Knutson’s girlfriend, Donna Elbert — and friend Brynn Hanson crossed the finish line first hand-in-hand, both finishing in 20 minutes, 35 seconds.

Elbert said Knutson would have liked to see a night of racing like Friday’s.

“I think they would think this is pretty amazing,” Elbert said. “He loved to race. It’s sad that he can’t be here, but I know he’s looking down. He certainly has a big smile on his face.

“It’s really cool that we could do this together and for a good cause.”

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The Fargo Marathon Friday Night 5K has been officially named the Mark Knutson Friday Night 5K in honor of the late marathon organizer. On Friday, May 31, 2024, 5K runners received ’80s rock T-shirts to celebrate Knutson’s favorite genre of music.

Chris Flynn / The Forum

Elbert also noted the impact Knutson had on her life.

“He and my mom were together for about two years before she died,” Elbert said. “He was definitely (a role model). He was a great runner and race director.”

Hanson added that the pair entered the race hoping to do well in Knutson’s memory.

“Lily was very close to him, so we did this for something bigger,” Hanson said. “It’s not just a 5K, it’s bigger than us and we just wanted to do well. … It was a lot of fun and I’m glad Lily invited me to do it.”

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Young runners kick off with the Mark Knutson Friday Night 5K in Moorhead on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Chris Flynn / The Forum

Elbert and Hanson are in their final sophomore years of high school — with Elbert attending Fargo Oak Grove and Hanson Des Lacs-Burlington — and recently competed at the North Dakota State Track and Field Meet in Bismarck.

Cortney Haser of Baton Rouge, Louisiana finished just under a minute behind Elbert and Hanson in 21:11.

Branden Scheel of Greeley, Colo., took the men’s 5K with a time of 17 minutes, 16 seconds ahead of Gerad Mead of Richfield, Minn. (17:43) and Cole Brown, 14, of Jefferson , South Dakota (5:58 p.m.).

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Branden Scheel is the first to cross the finish line in the Mark Knutson Friday Night 5K in Moorhead on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Chris Flynn / The Forum

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Mark Knutson, Friday Night 5K participants along the race route through Woodlawn Park in Moorhead, Friday, May 31, 2024.

Chris Flynn / The Forum

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The Mark Knutson Friday Night 5K starts in Moorhead on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Chris Flynn / The Forum

Todd Rose

Todd Rose joined the Forum in August 2022 as a sports reporter. Prior to joining The Forum, Rose worked as a sports reporter for the Daily Press in his hometown of Escanaba, Michigan from October 2020 to July 2022.

Rose can be reached by email at [email protected] or via Twitter @To2D_Rose.