26.2 Again

Akron Travel Blog

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After watching the runners at Boston, I felt the nudge to try again. Not for a Boston Qualifying time but to try a full marathon again. In the weeks following my first one in 2013, I had thought that I would run one again in the future, no rush. Then I got injured in 2014 and have been dealing with the lingering effects of that injury since. Thankfully, nothing to drastically impact my daily life or even my running life. Enough to make me cautious of big goals though and the marathon plan was put on a backburner.

Then came the cheering and the glow of spectating at a marathon and in the early summer I registered for the Akron marathon only an hour from home. My sister came up with a training plan and several friends accompanied me on long runs. I started to feel stronger--only to come up with a calf strain three weeks before the event and then once that settled down, the ominous weather reports that temperatures would rise to the 80's on race day.

Despite the organization sending out e-mails urging marathoners to consider dropping down to the half-marathon distance or at least severely cutting down on goal times, I still toed the start line on Saturday morning with the 3:55 pacer. It was cool as we started out, the sun not yet up.

We ran past the convention center as well as the Akron art museum, a place I should put on my list of nearby destinations to visit.

I didn't struggle the first half of the race. I was even able to chat a little bit. Then shortly after the half marathoners left us, we started hitting some of the harder hills. I still hung in with my pacer for a few more miles, but then the hill shortly before the stately Stan Hwyet estate did me in. I remember losing sight of the pacer around the time that I was surprised that we were running right past the gatehouse of one of the largest homes in America.

My sightseeing stopped after that. I focused solely on trying to keep running which didn't always happen. Seeing my sister in the last mile was all that kept pushing me on to the minor league baseball stadium where the race wrapped up. I had to concede defeat in trying to finish under 4 hours but I still managed to run a minute faster than my 2013 race.

All in all, the marathon was well put on, and Akron as a city definitely has a lot to offer (even if my marathon-fogged brain doesn't remember much of it right now). I wish the weather had been nicer but look forward to future trips to the city.

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Akron
photo by: diisha392