Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Akron Marathon - 2012

Akron Marathon – September 29, 2012

This was my 5th continuous year running the Akron marathon:

- 2008: 3:29 (course record)
- 2009: 3:38 (training for Athens marathon so I took it relatively easy)
- 2010: 3:34 (also training for Athens)
- 2011: 3:34 (a few weeks into eating low-carb, I was pleased with the strong finish)

This picture is from the finish of my 2008 (first) Akron Marathon:

For my 5 year record, I was awarded the 5 year commemorative pin at a ceremony at the Expo on Friday.

It turned out to be a a great day to run a marathon! Starting temperatures were in the low 40s... Cloudy. I ran with a long sleeve shirt and was fine.  The sun came out later to enjoy the after-race activities.

Nutrition info: the morning of the race I had a large plate of breakfast (2 eggs, salad, olive oil, cheese, nuts, maybe 800 calories, 90% fat). I ate nothing else during the race, or right after. I just had water. (OK, a beer after the race :))

My goal was under 3:40. This race comes only 2 weeks after running Youngstown 50K. I did not really train for a marathon and I was even thinking of switching it to the half. Also, I was running the Towpath Marathon next week and I wanted to have something left for that too. So my goal was rather conservative. 

I lined up close to the 3:40 pacing team.  Akron starts exactly at 7:00 pm, and it is dark. It was nice to see some of my friends at the start.  Here is Jamie, pacing the 3:45 group.  And Marty Butler and his 3 brothers, running the relay.


The course was slightly different this year.  It felt a bit easier, overall.  I took a picture of the clock at the half, and, after figuring out the difference between the clock and chip time, it turns out that my time in the first half was almost identical to the time in the second half (a difference of only 10 seconds, 2nd half was actually faster).  This is really unusual, especially in Akron where the 2nd half is harder with some steep hills.

Here we are going over the start at around mile 11, and a picture from the Towpath section, with Brenda running ahead of me:


I was expecting to start slowing around mile 17-20, but this never happened.  My last 2 miles were the fastest of the race, 7:27, 7:34.  My last 0.38 miles (last stretch on Main Street, which is flat) was at 6:35 pace!  This fast downhill running took at toll at my quads (they were hurting the next day).

My time: 3:34:27 (8:11 pace) - 19/104 in my age group. 212/1546 OA.  Far from a PR, but my 2nd best time in Akron.

After the race, we sat at the field area (something new this year), and enjoyed the sun, the band, and the 2 free beers:

Liz ran the half: 1:53:48 (near 4 minute PR).  She was happy about that!

Akron is a great marathon. Well-supported, good swag.  I look forward to next year!

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