Nathan Nations wore a tutu in honor of his mother, who recently had surgery, for the Fargo half marathon.

Nathan Nations, 13, of Hackensack, had quite a weekend June 28-29 in Fargo, N.D.

Nathan, who runs track and cross-country for Pine River-Backus High School, competed in the first-ever DC Wonder Woman’s Golden Lasso Challenge 5K June 28. On an 80-degree plus humid night, he completed the 5K (3.1 mile) race in 19.38 minutes, a margin of victory of more than 2.15 seconds over the second-place finisher.

Even more impressive was the fact that Nathan hadn’t committed to the race until right before the start. He’d planned to stay with his mom, Vicki Dufner, during the race; she’d had gall bladder surgery less than two weeks earlier. In fact, he hadn’t even reviewed or run the course or that area of Fargo before.

The next morning, on another hot, humid day, Nathan continued the Golden Lasso Challenge by completing and competing in the second race of the series. He competed in the Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) and finished with a time of 1:50.20, good for tenth overall and the third place male finisher.

Nathan has been competing in 5K races for three years. His next runing event was on July 4 where he co-paced with his mom for the Waddle Like a Duck Half Marathon in Walker.

Next March, he looks forward to paying tribute to veterans, including his late grandfather, John Slyter (who served in the US Army in Vietnam), when he completes his first-ever marathon, the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with his mother and close friend, Brian Stenholm, a police officer for the city of Olivia.

Slyter, who was Vicki’s father, passed away seven years ago due to a service-connected disability (Agent Orange-related cancer). John Dufner, Vicki’s late husband and Nations’ stepfather, died unexpectedly in May of 2018. Nathan loved both men very much, says his mom. “They had such a profound impact on his life.”

Nathan hopes to run at the collegiate level for UCLA in Santa Monica, Calif.

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