Runners Forum - Kick Runners banner

Roadrunner Akron Marathon 9/29/07 -- Perhaps the most interesting race I've ever ran.

6266 Views 62 Replies 56 Participants Last post by  brown82799
This will be very, very long. Sorry. But it was the wackiest marathon day I've ever had and there's a lot to tell.<br><br>
Tried to get in the NYC Marathon, but was denied. So I had no real plan for a fall race. Decided early in the summer that I would run Akron for the third time. Also decided that I wanted to try to break 4 hours in my hometown race, to cross the finish line with a big ol' 3 up there. My first two Akrons were 2004, my very first marathon, in 4:27:11 and 2006, which I used as a training run since we got free shoes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">, in 4:16:43.<br><br>
I was not supremely confident going into the race. I had just come back an 11-day vacation in England and France, I just wasn't feeling fast and I was about 10 pounds heavier than I wanted to be, weighing in at 210 pounds race day morning. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Shock"> Before my previous marathon in May, where I set a PR of 3:44:54 at the Flying Pig, I was about 200 pounds. I have been lifting a lot, but I know it's not all muscle weight. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Again this year, marathon finishers got a free pair of shoes -- Brooks. Basically, you get a little decal on your bib when you finish that you take to the store to get your shoes. An extra bonus, a coworker had a free entry to the marathon she couldn't use, so she gave it to me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="cheers"> So, I go to the expo the day before the race to sign up and get my bib number, 955, which is the same as my house address. Interesting.<br><br>
Ok, race day morning. Race starts at 7 a.m. Weather was perfect for racing -- about 46*F at the start and probably about 60-65*F at the finish and sunny all day. I'm up about 5:15 a.m. for breakfast and hydration and whatnot. I'm about to leave when the urge to go to the bathroom hits. I reckon this is important enough to delay my departure. (Don't worry, I'm going somewhere with this. I don't usually randomly talk about my bathroom habits.) So I'm finally ready to leave and start driving to the start, which is 2.5 miles from my house. Shit! I realize I've forgotten my watch! Quick backtrack back to the house to get the watch. Now I'm running a little later than I would've liked, but I figure it's no big deal, I'll just park and forget about checking my bag. I can just leave it in the Jeep and pick it up after the race. It'll be fine.<br><br>
I get to the race and it is an absolute madhouse! This year they had a half-marathon for the first time. I'm driving all around trying to find a place to park. With closed roads and cars everywhere, getting around sucked. I'm looking, looking, looking. Nothing. I'm getting more and more agitated by the minute and those minutes are getting close to 7 a.m. Finally, in a last ditch effort, I drive up to a parking deck only to find that the entrance is in a closed off part of the road and can't be gotten to. Now what? Well, I see a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road next to each other -- illegally. What the hell. I pull in next to them, trying to leave some sort of room for people to get out, throw my keys on the floor and jump out of the Jeep. I ran about a half-mile to the start. When I got to the end of the start corral, a cop was pulling back a barrier. I thought he was being nice and opening it for me. In actuality, he was starting to help tear it down! I asked him if the race had started. He pointed, and said, "You see that truck? It's following the last runner." No it wasn't. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> I was about 4 minutes late for the start and probably one of the last people on the course.<br><br>
So, with a start like that what's next. Let me let you in on this little gem, too. I wanted to wait til the race pictures were ready, but I'll spill it. Since I was not very confident about doing well in the race, I wore my caveman halloween costume to run in. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Didn't have a clue how it would perform, if it would stay up, if it would get so sweaty and heavy that it would be a liability. Yea, I took a huge risk for 26.2 miles.<br><br>
So here I am wearing a cavemen outfit (I was wearing a t-shirt since it was about 46*F at the start) and all stressed about being late. I cross the starting mats and see some folks up ahead. I'm running right through people and see the 6-hour (!) marathon pacer. Wow! I wanted to start with the 3:50 pacer! I'm passing everybody, very quickly. I must say, it was interesting passing hundreds of people at a time. I joked along the way about being late and all that, and of course people are making comments about my running attire, something that would happen all day.<br><br>
I hit the first mile marke in 7:31. That is way, way, way, way, way too fast, more than a minute faster than I planned. Mile 2 wasn't much better, about 7:50-something and I had ditched my t-shirt during this time. The whole time, I'm telling myself that I've got to calm down, get in a nice little groove. I was way too amped up and knew I was killing myself with the pace. So amped up that I didn't even see the 3-mile marker. Miles 3 and 4 combined were 18:05.<br><br>
At 4.5 miles, I caught the 3:50 pacer. Pulled up next to her and told her I didn't think I'd ever catch up to the group. Talked to her a bit about running and whatnot. No sooner did I say that I was glad to be in the group so I could calm down and pace myself better, I left her and moved on ahead.<br><br>
I was clipping off miles at a sick pace. I hit mile 7 in 56:36, which I'm pretty sure is faster than I've ever run 7 miles. I'm talking with people as I'm running, as usual, and hook up with a guy running the 2-person relay. He was running a 15-mile stretch. We're BSing and started talking boxing. He's like, "Oh do you know Robert, um..." and I said, "Davis?" Yep, that was the guy. Robert Davis is a pro heavyweight who's been on TV many times and I remembered him from my gym way back. Today, he was this guy's running partner, which was funny. Small world.<br><br>
So we run a few miles together and he says keeping pace with me is keeping him well above his goal time. I tell him I'm ripping off miles at a stupid pace and was in unknown territory. I saw the 10-mile marker coming up and said if I was below 1:24, that it would be the fastest I'd ever covered 10 miles. Hit the 10-mile marker in 1:22:08. At this point, I'm going for broke. I thought there was no way in hell I could PR on this course, on this day. I hit the halfway point in 1:48:11, a PR for a half.<br><br>
At about 15.5 miles, comes the teeth of the Akron Marathon course. And on this day, I found out that this is indeed a sadistic some bitch! We hit the hills and I'm talking to other folks around me who have no idea they're coming up. It's basicaly uphill from mile 15.5 miles to 18 miles or so, and the last bit is a fairly tough hill, especially for that point in the race. The one guy says, "Yea but after this, there's a big downhill, right?" Uh, yea, I guess, at mile 24! Basically we had run down into a valley and were now running out of it. This is my favorite place to run, so I know it intimately. I know what's coming and I'm giving these guys a play-by-play commentary on what to expect.<br><br>
So, I get out of what I usually consider to be the toughest part of the course and I'm not feeling bad and didn't lose much time on the hills. Probably averaged about 8:40 miles through that part, much better than I thought. I get to mile 20 faster than I've ever run 20 miles, in 2:47:46. I really can't believe I've held it together this long.<br><br>
But the Akron Marathon wasn't finished with me yet. It has a little something left for all the runners after mile 19 or so. You make a right onto what looks like a quaint, quiet, tree-lined neighborhood. In actuality, it's the gates of Hell!! Ok, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but this street is slightly uphill practically the whole way, about 1.5 miles. And it has some little more significant uphills just to mess with you. Talking to this guy next to me, we were both hurtin'. I just kept saying, "I can't wait to get off of this f'n road." We crossed an intersection where a cop was directing traffic. A car was told to go, but the driver wasn't paying attention. Finally, when the driver saw the cop telling him to go, we were getting ready to go through the intersection and the car gassed it a little when the cop told him to stop. The guy next to me said, "I couldn't be so lucky to get hit by a car right now." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> We had a good chuckle.<br><br>
So we get off of the f'n road -- finally. I'm starting to leak time, a little, but still sub-9-minute miles. Just before mile 22, there is a wicked, short hill leading into a famous mansion, called Stan Hywet. I mean, this hill is mean. Just before getting to it, my old boxing buddy had pulled up next to me. We talked for a second and, seeing the hill coming up, I said, "Excuse me while I shut up for a bit while I cry going up this hill." Well, I trudged up the hill, but that was nearly the end of me. I had gone about as far and as fast as I could. I got through the grounds of the mansion and back onto the street with about 4 miles left to go.<br><br>
Mile 22 was 9:26. I'm hurtin'. Mile 23, I managed in 9:18. And then the wheels came off. At mile 24, I would pass right by my house. But it was not a good time getting to it. My legs were done. For the first time in a long time, I had to walk through a water stop. I debated doing it because I wasn't sure if I could start running again. I was able to, but my pace was shattered. I took a few more walking breaks. Yep, official death march time. I was feeling really bad and actually was afraid I might be pulled from the course because I wasn't looking so good. Finished mile 24 in 11:08. Wow! What a mess.<br><br>
Mile 25 was largely downhill and I managed a 9:22. Even during the last mile, during the last half-mile, I had to take a walk break. My legs were shot. I was feeling better, especially after a gel kicked in. Felt fine except my legs just would not go. A couple people passed me and said, "C'mon, I'm taking you in!" I tried to follow, but couldn't keep up. I managed a bit of a kick at the very end for show and finished in 3:47:25, much better than I thought I would've before the race. I really wasn't sure I even had a sub-4 in me.<br><br>
I do enjoy this race. The race director stays at the finish line and shakes everyone's hand. When I crossed the line, he shook my hand and said, "Great race!" I said, "Thank you. Thanks for waiting." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
After the race was funny. People kept wanting to take pictures of me and with me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Even had a large group of young ladies from Michigan ask me to take a group shot with them. I felt like a mascot or something. I think one of them was doing something naughty to me while the picture was being taken because the one taking the photo was laughing at her about something. Another couple came up to me and said, "You look like a fun guy," and handed me a card. They were from the local hashers club! The Rubber City Hash Hound Harriers, nonetheless! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> I told them I was familier with the hashers and had thought about joining. I think maybe I should.<br><br>
The caveman outfit was a smashing success. It turned out to be extremely comfortable to run in, more comfortable than any running shorts I own. And it definitely got the crowd, as well as other runners, with me. I was called everything -- Tarzan, cavemen, Bam-bam, Fred Flintstone and even Pebbles <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused"><br><br>
Overall, I had a great race, definitely an unforgetable one. I was well under my goal time, had a great time running and enjoyed perfect weather. All around just an awesome day. I am a bit disappointed in having to walk and not getting a PR. As I said, before the race, I didn't think there was a shot in hell to PR on that course and with the shape I was in. I don't know whether running those early miles a little slower would've helped. The last 10 miles of that course is a bear. It is not kind at all, especially to those who go out too fast.<br><br>
But that seems to be the way I run and it was a battle of wills between me and the course. Even though I ran a great time, I still feel like the course got the better of me. Then again, as hard as it tried, it couldn't beat me into complete submission. I got my sub-4 in my hometown, while perhaps cementing myself in Akron running lore. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Yea, I'll take that!
See less See more
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
Congrats on a great run... in a caveman costume no less!!! You totally rock!!!
Awesome! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
Can't wait for the pictures! Awesome job, vj.
i looked for you! but i don't think i saw you. i think i would have noticed you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"><br><br>
great job though!
Voodoo-- You are one character!! Great race report!
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="occasion5"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="hello1"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="occasion5">
Great race report! Congrats on your finish!
<img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Nice run, and nive story.
Another great run by <b>Voodoo</b>! Or is it Captain Caveman?<br><br><img alt="" src="" style="border:0px solid;">
All guts and dreds, my friend. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
GREAT race!!! Yeah, we need pictures for sure.
That is a rock solid maraton and kick ass race report there Voo, I will be thinking of you next week when I go after a sub 4 in TC!!!!<br><br>
Sub 4 in Akron: So simple Caveman Voo could do it.<br><br><br>
WTG CaveMan!!!
<b>Voo</b>, awesome job! I think my heart would be in my throat if I was late like that. It's cool that you sucked it up and headed out. You are fast in my book. I'm not sure I'll ever be as fast as you are. Congrats. Sounds like you had fun!
What a spectacular showing, <b>Voo</b>! You make being late and costumed the way to do a marathon!
Dude, you are my hero!!! Late to the race, PRing splits, caveman outfit and a sub-4:00 and dang close to your PR - way to rock it Pebbles!!!
Hi Voodoo! Awesome job! I wish I was there to buy you a beer! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
You SHOULD DEFINITELY join the hashers. It's a ton of fun, and zero pressure.
Man, I'm kicking myself now. I'm really upset that I did not wait for you at the finish. Great story, and congratulations on the course PR. Someday I wish to meet you in person.<br><br>
That is some wicked start for you to catch up 4 minutes to reach your pacer. All in the caveman outfit!<br><br>
I really enjoy the course, but its mainly because I've only been a pace leader there. Never as a racer. "Some bitch" is a good name for the Stan Hywet hill. That's where most all of my pace group, of the few that remained, fell off the pace.<br><br>
Akron's race is one of the best around -- one that I've enjoyed each year. I'm jealous that you have such a race in your neighborhood.<br><br>
That kicks ASS! WTG! Great race, and a fun report. Can't wait to see the caveman picks. Next time you're going to have to carry the club! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> That was another name thrown out quite often.
great race report..............way to freaking gut it out man!!!
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.