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Grand Forks runner Sondag gets the win at Fargo Marathon

FARGO -- The Kenyans got the pre-race notoriety. Eric Sondag of Grand Forks got the win. Sondag put on a spirited charge in the final three miles of the Fargo Marathon this morning to take the victory in an unofficial course-record time of 2 hour...

FARGO -- The Kenyans got the pre-race notoriety. Eric Sondag of Grand Forks got the win.

Sondag put on a spirited charge in the final three miles of the Fargo Marathon this morning to take the victory in an unofficial course-record time of 2 hours, 30 minutes, 34 seconds.

"The hype was there," Sondag said. "But I researched these guys and I knew what they were capable of."

John Rotich, a native of Kenya running for Duma Running Club in Coon Rapids, Minn., almost led wire-to-wire. But he sputtered around mile 24 and Sondag took advantage.

"Once I caught site of him, I knew he was fading a bit," Sondag said.

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That's where Sondag's research came into play. Knowing Rotich had just completed the recent Lincoln Marathon, the 35-year-old former University of North Dakota runner wondered if there was much left in Rotich's tank.

He wondered right.

"Incredible," Sondag said of the thousands of fans lining the last few blocks and inside the finish line at the dome. "They were excited to see a local guy up front."

Brian Anderson of Minneapolis was second at 2:32.19. Rotich was third at 2:33.15.

Sondag placed second in 2007 while competing in his first marathon.

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The article includes information from the Herald. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

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