Iowa runner wins men's Grand Forks Marathon

Joshua Einspahr of Hampton, IA, is the overall winner of the 2019 Wild Hog Marathon with a time of 02:52:31. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Josh Einspahr set a goal to run a marathon in all 50 states.

That's how the 28-year-old from Hampton, Iowa, ended up in Grand Forks on Saturday morning.

He did a lot more than checking off Marathon No. 13 and State No. 12, though.

Einspahr won the 2019 Grand Forks Marathon by finishing in 2 hours, 52 minutes and 31 seconds. It is the first time he's ever won a marathon.

"I started off a little faster than I expected," Einspahr said. "I felt comfortable throughout the whole race. The weather was perfect today. It was perfect running conditions today. That helped quite a bit."


Einspahr grew up in Illinois about an hour outside of Chicago and ran cross country in high school. He ran his first marathon in 2009 while attending college.

Einspahr said he figured he would be in the mix to win the race Saturday.

"I knew I would be close," he said. "It's my first win so it feels good."

Fargo's Branden Scheel, who won the race the last two years and set a course record of 2:42:07 last year, did not compete in the event this year. He recently ran a race overseas.

Einspahr said he was running alongside another competitor until about Mile 17, when he made his move.

"I kind of started to feel better," said Einspahr, who finished with a pace of 6:35/mile. "It was an awesome course. It was flat. There were a few rolling hills throughout, near the river, but it definitely was a nice course."

Thane Smith celebrates his finish in the Wild Hog Half Marathon Saturday. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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