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To Prevent Strokes, “Run for Your Life”

May 16, 2008

Fargo, ND – A Fargo man today begins a 100-mile run for his life and for the memory of those who have lost their lives to stroke. Three years ago, Rick Wagar admits, he was a 230-pound couch potato, but today, moved by the sudden death of his brother at age 53, Wagar is a motivated marathoner with a new lifestyle.

He chose the distance of 100 miles because of the 100 yearly stroke deaths in the Fargo-Moorhead region.

"I hope that people can look at me when I was 42 years old and overweight and see the effort I have put forth since then to get off the couch and do something some would view as extraordinary. Maybe somebody next year watching the Fargo Marathon will say, 'You know what, I'm going to do the 5K.'"

This year, Wagar wanted to do something special to raise awareness and funds to help fight stroke, and had the idea for his 100-mile run, which he's calling Run For Your Life, sponsored in part by his employer, Network Center Inc.

"Losing a brother to stroke at 53 is such a rip-off, and it's unnecessary. That's why we're doing it."

Wagar plans to finish the last 26 miles of the run during the Fargo Marathon. He's running in May in recognition of Stroke Month, an effort to raise awareness of strokes, the third leading cause of death in North Dakota.

Information about Wagar's effort is online at www.netcentercomm.net.

Dick Layman/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - ND