Imagine yourself waking up bright and early, lacing up your running shoes, heading out the door with just one thought "I'm going to run the Bismarck half marathon today". That was a common goal for many on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning. Except one young lady was about to achieve so much more.

All signed up and ready to tackle her 4th half marathon

Her name is Maddie Biertempfel - she is an anchorwoman on KX NEWS -you have seen her fine work since she came to Bismarck in July of last year - a graduate from Penn State, and a veteran of 3 half marathons. Maddie began the race along with hundreds of others determined to complete her 4th half, something changed that goal within a matter of a few minutes.

Sometimes in life, we take a left turn when we should have gone right

Cruising along with a group of runners just past the 4-mile mark, Maddie took a left turn, right off the expressway bridge - about a mile after that she saw a sign that was directed towards the marathon relay. That was a red flag in her mind, you see not long after that sighting, she realized that she was now running on the full 26,2- mile path. Maddie told me on the phone today that it was at that point when she said to herself "Well I'm finishing at 13.1 miles regardless"

Encouragement out on the course

As she passed the halfway point (half marathon), she walked to the next aid station where she came across a member of the OnPace Race team, after Maddie explained her unfortunate wrong turn mishap, the encouragement from the member was, well quite amazing. "How do you feel?" - Maddie replied back that she was feeling pretty good - "Then go for the full marathon" - which she did.

Unchartered territory

Everything from this point on would be venturing into the land of the unknown. Now keep in mind that Maddie NEVER thought about adding a marathon to her list of running credentials (at least not for this weekend). Without a doubt, the toughest part she went through was from 13 -20 miles in. Looking around for a polite individual to give her a ride to her car crossed her mind - but she kept going, receiving some support from some of the other runners around her.

"I'm all in"

Here is the amazing part about this lady, most people when they reach the 20-mile mark go through a whirlwind of emotions - self-doubt, PAIN. Maddie said to herself "I'm all in" - not a second thought of quitting, stopping. The marathoner has many abilities, one of which is willpower. Mental strength guides you to the finish line. The easiest thing you can possibly do is just call it a day, I mean, Maddie had already accomplished her only goal - to finish a HALF MARATHON.

Crossing the finish line with a huge sense of pride

Maddie crossed the finish line of the Bismarck Marathon! Her immediate thoughts were "I'm really proud of myself!" NO DOUBT!!! Congratulations Maddie and to all the runners yesterday that competed and tested their own challenges. The best part of it all, Maddie received 2 medals for her part in the race -one for the half, and the most cherished one, for the FULL 26.2 miles.

Here is a video I shot for just one of the stories that went on yesterday,

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