Archive for July, 2012

Only 3 weeks after running my first ultra marathon, I ran the 2012 Akron Marathon with my good friend Jason. It was going to be a tough race right from the start. Both Jason and I were battling injuries, and neither of us should have been running. To top it off, I was also dealing with severe allergies the night before and I didn’t sleep at all.

The day started off a little chilly, as you would expect in late September. As the sun started to rise and the race began, fireworks took over the skies above us. I thought that was a really special and unique way to begin the marathon. Immediately after starting, Jason and I were both in pain. My foot had nerve damage, and he had an undiagnosed injury to his knee. When we run run marathons together, we aren’t concerned with our time. We are just out there to have a good time and complete the race.

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Even though Akron is not a very big city, it had a lot to offer. Our injured bodies shuffled thru downtown and we worked our way across a few bridges. We were able to take in views of the valley below as well as the city skyline in the background. Water stations were everywhere. Literally every mile or so. We really appreciated that, but not once during the race did anyone have any food. No oranges, no candy, nothing at all. We started build up some serious hunger by the half way point, so Jason decided to run into a gas station and buy some Lay’s salt and vinegar chips for us to snack on. Immediately, we became the center of attention. Spectators watched with puzzled looks on their faces and runners drooled in envy over us having chips during a race. Our tasty snack helped curb our appetites as we continued on.

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Just after mile 23 we met up with some really great people who were hanging out in front of their house watching the race. They gave us each a Michelob Lager, which really hit the spot. After slamming our beers and chatting for a while, we hit the road. With only 5k remaining, we decided to run a little faster. We pushed thru it even though the pain was really building. The race ended in Canal Park (Akron’s baseball stadium). As we came toward the finish line, the crowd cheered loudly. We were greeted with very nice finisher’s medals, an Akron Marathon running hat, and tons of refreshments. They had Michelob Ultra, TruMoo chocolate milk (my favorite), bananas, Powerbars, Oreo cookies, and potato chips. We finished the race in 5 hours 39 minutes and 39 seconds which was Jason’s personal record for a marathon. All in all, I really enjoyed the race. The only thing I would have changed was adding food to some of the aid stations.

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PROS
-Plenty of free parking very close to the start and finish of the race.
-The course was wide open. Very little crowding on the course.
-Great scenery along the way.
-Fireworks at the start of the race.
-Plenty of aid stations and medical stations.
-Great swag for participating. Brooks running jacket, Akron Marathon hat, really nice finisher’s medal.

CONS
-No food on the course.
-Lack of crowd support on Tow Path Trail.

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