Faces of Fargo: Phil and Ali Faught

By: Jacqueline Palfy .

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Phil and Ali Faught have a lot going on.

They just built a house in North Dakota. Phil works as an athletic trainer for Central Cass High School for Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine-Athletic Training Department. Ali stays home with their two kids, Kaldor, 4, and Kai, 2.

Beyond that? They’re both training for races at the Fargo Marathon. They’ve been participating for years, only missing 2006, because they were married the same day as the race.

For them, it’s become a tradition, and this year is no different.

It all started with Ali, 36.

“I needed a little motivation and something to look forward to, and I wanted to exercise a little more,” she said. She was playing volleyball and doing other activities but hadn’t really considered running. “It just wasn’t a thing.”

Then she did, and she was hooked. Her brother began joining her, and then a cousin, and now they’re all avid runners.

“I feel like we started something with the Fargo Marathon in my family, and it feels good,” she said. She ran the 5K for a few years and then ramped up to the 10K, which she’s training for again now. She lifts weights and runs a few times a week, usually on a treadmill in the winter while her kids nap. Lately she’s been thinking about trying to go a little faster and maybe beat her time from last year.

For Phil Faught, 35, he’s watched how his professional life has trickled into his personal life. He’s worked in the fitness industry for a long time and trains runners. “I’d feel guilty if I didn’t get a few races in, too,” he says.

Sometimes he takes one of the kids with him in a running stroller, and sometimes they participate in the races. “Having Kal run in the kids race the last couple of years, well, it’s exciting to see them interested in being active,” Phil says.

“I try to run on the treadmill when it’s naptime,” Ali says. “I go down while the older one plays.”

Phil says the kids think it’s normal to see their parents work out. “They’ll ask, ‘hey, are you going down to row,’ and then they’ll come down and play while I do it.”

For now, Phil and Ali, who met in college at Mayville State, don’t run together during races.

“It’s hard to run at someone else’s pace when one is 6’3” and one is 5’3”,” Phil jokes. “We did run a 5K together. Once.”

“That was probably enough,” Ali says.

“My knees were so sore after that from changing my pace,” Phil says.

He’s done three half-marathons in Fargo and a few of the 10K and 5K challenges. It’s been nice to rekindle the competitive part of him, he says.

“I was an athlete in high school,” he says. “If you’re someone who needs internal competition, running is easy.  It’s you against yourself, and how hard can you push.”

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