Four leaders in Moorhead come together to run for a good cause, including MSUM’s Aaron Folkerds

A pastor, professor, police officer and mayor are all running events in the Fargo Marathon to support the Moorhead Police Athletic and Activities League.

By Sam Goetzinger
May 19, 2023

FARGO — If you are going to run in an event like the Fargo Marathon you need to have a reason “why”. Some travel to Fargo this weekend looking to win, some are just out to get some exercise and others are just looking to see if they can finish a race of this magnitude.

For a pastor, professor, police officer and mayor in Moorhead their “why” means a little more.

The quartet of Aaron and Mary Suomala Folkerds (assistant professor of counseling with Minnesota State University Moorhead and lead pastor at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd respectively), Moorhead Police Department Sargent Scott Kostohryz, and Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson are getting ready for one of the more physically demanding runs of their lives. All because of a suggestion from a local college student.

“Our exchange student said, ‘You need to run a half marathon.'” Aaron Suomala Folkerds said. “This was back in the Fall and I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll do a half marathon.’”

Gears started turning and eventually a fundraiser was born.

“Let’s raise some money for PAL and I said sure let’s do it because I need all the motivation in the world because I am a terrible runner,” he said.

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