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Articles tagged #Semehar Tesfaye
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Semehar Tesfaye, who has won the last three Sanford Fargo Marathons, has retired from running and will not be back this year to win a fourth straight women's marathon

Semehar Tesfaye graduated from Fargo South in 2008. She attended North Dakota State for one year before transferring to Iowa State, where she graduated in 2012.

She got her masters degree from the University of Arkansas in 2013. Ultimately, the educational aspect of her life won out over competitive running, so the three-time defending champion at the Sanford Fargo Marathon will not return for a shot at a four-peat.

At 28 years old, she’s retired. The amount of time it takes to train at a high level was just too much.

“To actually be prepared and the nature of how running is,” she said, “you may have a good day or a bad day but to train so long for one race was too much of a risk to put into it.”

Plus, she said, she has a new goal of becoming a data scientist and is taking online courses. Tesfaye is currently a quality assurance technologist for a food processing company in the Boston area.

Tesfaye burst upon the Fargo Marathon scene in 2016 when she won the women’s race in 2 hours, 37 minutes, 27 seconds, beating the course record by more than four minutes. It was her first-ever marathon and that fast of a time spurned questions of her potential. Such as, is she Olympic-caliber capable?

Primarily a middle-distance runner in college who finished her career at Arkansas, her speed combined with an increased endurance made it seem like a possibility. But she also dealt with minor injuries in the months leading up to a couple of Fargo Marathons.

“Running does that to you,” Tesfaye said. “You’re only going to be fit 10 to 20 percent of the year with the rest of the time being hard training and tough on you mentally.”

Combined with a full-time job, it doesn’t leave time for much else. That has changed. She doesn’t miss the long miles, although she still goes for easy runs to maintain a good fitness level.

The memories, certainly, won’t soon fade away.

Boosted by pre-race publicity, many fans along the Fargo Marathon route knew her on a first-name basis. When she crossed the finish line at the Fargodome in 2016, with a sprint no less, it was to the roar of a game-winning shot in basketball.

That first one remains the most memorable.

“I wasn’t sure I was going to finish the race,” she said. “I remember waking up, going to the Fargodome and remember the first step was just waking up and giving yourself a chance. I remember thinking I wasn’t sure how I was going to do.”

(05/14/2019) ⚡AMP
by Jeff Kolpack
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Fargo Marathon

Fargo Marathon

The Fargo Marathon is a week full of events, The Fargo Marathon is bound to have something for everyone. From the Cyclothon, Furgo Dog Run, Largest Kid's Race, 5K Walk/Run, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon and Relays, there is a distance for all! Start and Finish inside the Fargo Dome - ...

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Third Win for Tesfaye at the Fargo Marathon on Saturday May 19

Semehar Tesfaye became the first runner to win three in a row in any Fargo Marathon event, taking the marathon in 2:39:22.  That was almost six minutes ahead of the next runner. The early challenge came from Joan Massah from Andover, Minn., whose time in front didn't last long. Jen Van Otterloo from Sioux Center, Iowa, finished second in 2:44.17 and Massah was third at 2:45.48. "It put a little doubt in me," Tesfaye said, "but I knew it was a long race and I trained well for this." She also got a helpful assist from male runner Jesse Prince, who paced Tesfaye for a good chunk of the race. "He was with me for about 16 miles and that helped me a lot," Tesfaye said. "He was going at a pace I wanted to go at and he was right on that." That pace was 5:55 per mile. Prince told Tesfaye early in the race he wanted to run a 2:36 marathon. "Which was perfect," Tesfaye said. "That motivated me to stay with him." Just like in her previous two Fargo Marathon victories, the fans on the course played a big role in her overall experience. She may have been somewhat unknown two years ago when it was her first-ever marathon. She's on a first-name basis with the marathon fans now, not hesitating to wave or smile at people she knew along the way. "They were really helpful keeping my mind off the race," Tesfaye said. Tesfaye, who lives and trains in Boston, is planning on running some shorter races before tackling a half-marathon in December. She may or may not return to Fargo next year to go for four in a row depending on the Boston Marathon, which is held in early April. "Boston is a challenging race," Tesfaye said. "If I stay fit and keep myself healthy, I'll try to do Boston. Otherwise I'll come back to Fargo and it will motivate me again." She has no plans to run professionally, instead preferring the more casual approach. "I don't try to think of it as a profession," she said. "I try to keep that pressure off of me. I just train my best and enjoy running." (05/19/2018) ⚡AMP
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Defending champ Tesfaye is ready to win the Fargo Marathon for the third time

There's something about the Sanford Fargo Marathon that brings out the best in Semehar Tesfaye. She's hoping her third time in the event on Saturday will be another charm. The two-time defending champion and Fargo South graduate, currently living and training in Boston, is hoping health and training issues in the past year are permanently in the rear-view mirror. Since winning the Fargo race last year, she dealt with low iron levels in her body and a job that made training and racing tough. A better diet and iron supplement addressed that issue. And she took a new position in March with an insurance firm that has made her schedule easier to deal with. It's allowed her to get her mileage up to around 90 miles per week. "The Fargo Marathon is the race that motivated me to continue running when times were harder, when I was not healthy," Tesfaye said. She won in 2016, her first-ever marathon, clocking 2:37:27.  She won last year in 2:38.09. She was rarely challenged in both races. (05/15/2018) ⚡AMP
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