“One day while I was running, I decided ‘you know what would be cool? Is if I ran a full marathon for my 40th birthday,'” Katie Ogaard said.
She’s calling it her birthday gift to herself and it also happens to be the Bismarck Marathon’s 40th birthday.
“It was kind of the hook that got me to run the marathon,” she said. “I got on their website and I saw it was their 40th-anniversary race and I thought, ‘well that’s a sign.'”
The Westhope native played sports growing up but never considered herself a runner until recent years.
She ran the Fargo half marathon virtually from home last year, but this will be the first full marathon that she laces up for.
“It’s about setting a goal — a huge goal — and just knocking every workout out until I complete that goal.”
Ogaard says she’s “running into her 40s,” and looks forward to achieving her goal.
It’s become more than that, though. It’s also become a source of tranquility.
“It’s a moment where nothing else really matters whether you’ve had a bad day or a great day,” she said. “It’s just you and the pavement or your treadmill belt. It’s just a chance to get some mental clarity. I do it for that reason, too.”
When the miles get tough, which they do, the support of her husband and three kids comes in handy.
“I’m running for myself,” Ogaard said, “but I really do want my children to see me taking care of myself and I want them to follow my example. So that’s what it means to me, I’m taking care of myself so I can take care of everyone else around me.”
As race day approaches her passion runs high.
She said, “I look forward to crossing the finish line and just seeing my kids standing there and my husband and it being a huge 40th birthday celebration.”
The marathon may be a way to celebrate her 40th birthday, which is coming up on Sept. 27, but it’s also a way to celebrate the next 40 years and beyond, which she says will be the best ones yet.
Katie Ogaard is Someone You Should Know.
Katie also serves on the Westhope school board and volunteers for the adaptive ski program at Annie’s House at Bottineau Winter Park.
The Bismarck Marathon is this Saturday.