Sunday, September 30, 2007

Akron Marathon Race Report

It was a beautiful day for a marathon; Akron puts on an extremely well organized and managaed event. When I shook the RD's hand after finishing, I made sure I told him how nice the volunteers, policeman, and citizen were on cheering everyone on.

I got to the expo in the late afternoon; I managed to snag a 60$ pair of Saucony Trigon Ride 4's and some new sunglasses; bought some of Chef Sub-Four Bill Bailey energy bars and some Clif Bloks from Vince; then went over to Mike's place for the evening. Mike's daughter graciously gave up her bed for me for the evening where upon I had a marathon nightmare. I used to have these quite often; I really don't have these since I started running ultras.

The Dream
I was running a marathon. It started at John's farm (the RD from Punxy) out in the country. But it was starting at 5pm in the evening. For some reason, the race was getting postponed until 6 pm, and I realized I would need a light, so I was rummaging through my drop bags for a light. Then I realized everyone wasn't around for the start of the marathon. In fact, most people's attention was at the pond/lake next to the property. Apparently, there was a water monster in the lake- and it was actually Godzilla- yes the monster. So somehow, it was the runner's responsibility to deal with Godzilla somehow. I wanted nothing to do with the monster. I went back to the farmhouse. All ideas of the marathon were now off, and people were just heading out for a run (avoiding the Godzilla area of course.) I was just getting ready to head out with my friend Nick when my phone rang, and I got into some lengthy conversation and my friends ran without me. It turns out it was okay, because they were back soon, because it was about 50 degrees out, and very windy, so they only ran three miles. The last I remember from the dream was, I was walking down a long hallway, and someone was commenting on the runners were going to eat John out of his house, because, for some reason, we couldn't leave until Godzilla was vanquished!

I know, very weird. But I used to have these on a regular basis. Good thing I run trails now, huh?

Mike has to listen to me tell this story at 430 am...he probably wondered where I hid the bottle the night before.
We take the obligatory prerace photo and head down to Akron...a whole ten minutes away. That was sweet, to have a marathon in your backyard!

We hang out for a short bit in my vehicle to catch up, then feel the urge to do the social thing, and run into our fellow runners out there on the blue line.

Mike goes off to the 4.00 corral and I just hang out in the back of the pack, just smiling at the people stretching, and bouncing. People, you'll have plenty of time to get those muscles stretched out, especially if you are running in the 4.30 + group!

It was a nostalgic run for me, since this was my first marathon in 2004. Over the bridge, I catch up to the Akron group, and I yell out their names as I am behind them: Red! Brett! Debi!! Sarah!! Red whips her head around and everyone says hi!! I know I am running a bit fast to be with this gang, but I hang with Red across the bridge and around the corner. We discuss how hot Tony is, since we managed to see him on his way back across the bridge, and then Red pulls away from me as we get back into Akron.

I was suprised how much I remembered from the course, just about the whole thing. I studied this course in 2004; in 2007 I didn't even glance at it. Hey, I will follow who's ahead of me.

I was having a good run, although very slow; my legs tightened up around 11 miles, although nothing really hurt; it just felt like my hamstrings shrunk in half. It was more difficult to walk than run, although I wasn't finding any place to walk on the course-way too flat for me!

I was so appreciative when we hit the towpath trail portion, about 4 miles to get off the asphalt. But my hamstrings were still so tight, I didn't make up any time here at all. The hammies didn't really loosen up until we got into the little undulating hills after the Sand Run Area, the up and down just really helped.

Of course, as soon as the hammies loosened, we ran by Debi's house. I knew it was Debi's house because of all the signs out! I also then noticed Debi's street was made out of concrete...which started to pump the cement back into my hammies again.

Soon we're at Stan Hywet, and I am ready for this to be over! I remember my first marathon, at this same point, I had messed up my Garmin, and was so upset because I wouldn't have my splits proper...and today I didn't even set my watch at all. This was just a training run for me. I was much slower than I wanted to be, but it was good time on my feet.

The last two miles are about all downhill. I made the turn at West Market Street. The police are controlling traffic. They see me start to slow down because of the cars, and they immediately stop traffic for me, and tell me I get priority to cross on this day! This really tickles me, and I thank them and tell them it's cool to have traffic stop because of me! The police and traffic control folks out at all the side streets were really the best!

I hit the downhill, and start to pick it up a bit. Hey, it's less than two miles. I start to eye folks ahead of me. I manage to "chick" six guys on the way to the finish line.

I run into the ballpark, I hear someone yelling "Trail Goddess" (I think it was TJ but not sure) and cross the finishing line in an astonishing PW of 5.25. Yikes!! Oh well. It was a good training run for me. I get my sticker for my free pair of Brooks shoes (all marathon finishers receieved free running shoes) shook the RD's hand, got my medal and went off to look for food!

The Akron Marathon organizes their race so well there is still food left over for us slowpokes, and I managed to cadge a beer off some other finishers in the stands. I know Mike probably has taken off for home with his family (and if not, it's just a 4 mile run/walk home) and I decide to head south. I do stop at the running store, Second Sole, that is sponsoring the free Brooks shoes and I pick up my Radius Shoes. I wore them this morning, for a four mile walk around the block, and they felt good.

I did the ice bath after I got home and still was very stiff! No wonder people only run road marathons a few times a year. It's tough on the body! It's back to dirt for me. I've gotten a better offer for next weekend (a run at Mohican) instead of the Towpath Marathon!


  1. Kim, so sorry I did not see you at all this weekend, my loss! I stayed til 6 hour mark on clock and realized I just missed you... but I tried. Glad you enjoyed the race so much!!

    I'm looking forward to this time of year, when I run a lot of trails for a break and recovery time!!

  2. Wow Tony, that was nice of you to hang out for so long~but this was one of the best weather years to do so at Akron!
    Congrats on your Sub-Three Finish!!

  3. Great job Kim... Believe it or not you were right on my heels and I didn't know it. I spent to much time talking and being a baby on the course. Set a PR at 5:22 or something around there and didn't puke though. If I knew you were about to "chick" me I would have given up a minute or two to finish with you. I actually stopped before entering the stadium to let a couple people pass me just so that my wife could get a good picture of me running across the finish line.

  4. I really want to find and run a trail marathon now...and not the kind where I drop out early from a 50k (WBT50k)

    Really great seeing you...I was shocked when I turned around to say something to you just prior to going into the starting corral, and you were gone!

  5. great job out there Kim I don't know how but I never saw you or Mike out there. I'm glad you had fun and that a friend scored you a beer!

  6. It was fun running over the bridge with you and ogling Tony the Tiger. That bird is just a bitch on the body. I'm looking forward to doing some trails now.

  7. Nice run Kim! You're running Mo this weekend? Do I get an invite? Or is it a private party?

  8. Great race Kim, you'll be chicking all of us soon :-)


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