GRAND FORKS, ND — For runners at the Wild hog Marathon in Grand Forks, preparations start at the crack of dawn.

"5 am this morning, not too bad," said runner Rihana Davidson, who ran her very first half marathon Saturday, Sept. 28.

"Very very nervous, very very excited, my stomach is just kind of going everywhere right now. I have a lot of energy," she said.

She's been running 10Ks for the last few years and decided this year to kick it up a notch by doing the half marathon, about 7 more miles than she's used to in a 10K. She's not alone during this challenge though. Her mom, sister, and friends traveled from Montana just to be here for her.

"When she told us she was going to do the half marathon I said, we're gonna be there," said Andrea Davidson, Rihana's mom.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The group followed Rihana every few miles and cheered her on. Motivation that kept her feet moving and spirits high.

"I'm so lucky I have my family and friends here because there are sometimes when I run and I need somebody to tell me to keep going because I can't keep doing this," said Rihana.

With just 2 more miles to go, Rihana only had one thing on her mind.

"I'm going to cross that finish line, and I'm going to complete 13 miles in my life, I'm going to run 13 miles," she said.

She did just that, with her support group right behind her the entire way.

"I'm so proud of her, a half marathon, 13 miles, that's a pretty good accomplishment," said Andrea.

The first of many accomplishments in Rihana's future. Her ultimate goal is to run a full marathon.

Close to two thousand runners participated in the marathon events all weekend.