9/28/2019 Christine, Scott, Jobadiah, Asad, Roy, and Gretchen Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, and Relay Akron, Ohio

9/28/2019

Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, and Relay

Akron, Ohio

Full Marathon

Scott Orlando

Finish Time:  4:06:33

Overall Place:  236 / 964

Division Place :  25 / 78

Christine Churpek

Finish Time:  4:09:02

Overall Place:  242 / 964

Division Place :  57 / 353

Half Marathon

Jobadiah Christiansen

Finish Time:  1:17:52

Overall Place:  19 / 3223

Division Place :  8 / 163

Asad Khan

Finish Time:  1:52:17

Overall Place:  468 / 3223

Division Place :  34 / 149

Roy Miller

Finish Time:  1:52:32

Overall Place:  473 / 3223

Division Place:  56 / 186

Team Relay

All Female Team The Fast And The Girlious

Gretchen Snyder

Finish Time:  3:44:46

Overall Place:  103 / 895

Division Place :  8 / 154

Race Recap By Scott Orlando

This was my 3rd time competing  in the Akron Full Marathon.  I was encouraged and excited to take on the new course which featured an overall negative elevation.  The fine people at the Akron Marathon recognized the need for a course change as participation numbers over the last few years have steadily declined with runners gravitating towards faster flatter courses in the hopes of qualifying for Boston and other marathons.  A new wrinkle this year was that the start was moved to Stan Hywet Hall requiring runners to park downtown Akron and take shuttles to the start.  The start of the race was changed to 7:30 to allow for more time for the shuttle ride to the start.  The shuttles went off without a hitch.  Stan Hywet made for a nice pre race staging area.  Just before the start of the race it began to rain and a rainbow shot across the sky which made for a memorable beginning of the race.  The first 5 – 6 miles were mostly downhill making for a fast start for most runners.  The rain stopped quickly but left very humid conditions with temperatures already in the low 70’s.  As the race moved on the clouds began to part and the sun came out quickly increasing temperatures into the 80’s.  I was going along just fine actually ahead of my desired pace for the first 13 -15 miles which I had planned for knowing I would slow down late in the race from fatigue.  Miles 16 – 19 were pretty much one long steady up hill climb.  I hit this section of the course just as the sun came out.  I completed what I felt was the hardest part of the entire course feeling heavily fatigued.  I knew the worst hills were past me so I regrouped and kept moving forward.  About 22 miles into the race I was on pace to finish with a nice PR but then things went wrong quickly.  The heat and hills took their toll on me and my calves started cramping.  I tried my best to work past the cramps but they got worse.  I was forced to walk to reduce the cramps.  I managed through the last 4 miles of the race by running when I could and walking when I had to.  I was determined to finish.  I was actually surprised at how many runners I saw that took to walking in these late miles.  I was disappointed that I was forced to finish this way but I am certainly proud that I stayed with it to indeed finish.  As always, the race was well organized and every detail was covered.  After having a few days to think about the new course I don’t think it made a lot of difference on producing faster times.  Even though there was a negative elevation in the course, a lot of that came in the early miles.  There were less hills at the end of the course to deal with but the middle section was very tough.  I wasn’t a big fan of doubling back through Stan Hywet either.  The challenge with Akron is that in general it is hilly.  I think I expected a much faster new course then what was offered.  Perhaps next year they can tweak miles 16-20 a little better.  I do understand that the high temperature and humidity were huge factors in how difficult the race was and that the race officials have no control over that.  I would like to see them bring back the finisher jackets and finisher gift that they used to provide.

Race Recap By Gretchen Snyder:

I ran the Akron marathon relay leg 4, which was approximately 6.6 miles. It started at Wolf Ledges and ended at the Towpath trail. The first four miles felt like a gradual uphill, also at which point the sun came out and humidity increased. I felt like walking so many times, but then I met the two Akron Children’s hero’s on my route, gave them hugs and high fives and had a renewed spring in my step.

Our team did really well, especially considering our first leg runner was coming off an injury and two others were last minute subs. We ended up placing 8th out of 154 all-female relay teams. Our average team pace was 8:35 and we finished just over 3:44.

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