Akron Marathon Race Series National Interstate 8K
Finish Time: 35:14
Overall Place: 53rd Place / 1231
Division Place: 3rd Place Female Masters
Finish Time: 36:16
Overall Place: 71st Place / 1231
Division Place: 10th place / 50
Finish Time: 37:05
Overall Place: 84th Place / 1231
Division Place: 5th Place / 53
Finish Time: 39:00
Overall Place: 139th place / 1231
Division Place: 4th Place / 112
Finish Time: 41:20
Overall Place: 223rd Place / 1231
Division Place: 14th Place / 53
Finish Time: 40:22
Overall Place: 183rd Place / 1231
Division Place: 7th Place / 112
Finish Time: 42:44
Overall Place: 274th Place / 1231
Division Place: 17th Place / 53
Finish Time: 43:04
Overall Place: 287th Place / 1231
Division Place: 15th Place / 106
Finish Time: 55:51
Overall Place: 822nd Place / 1231
Division Place: 17th Place / 23
Finish Time: 58:54
Overall Place: 906th Place / 1231
Division Place: 77th Place / 106
Biked along the course supporting Team ER members
Race Recap By Nancy Wardell:
I ran the National Interstate 8K this morning in Akron with a large group of teammates from Team-ER! It was great to see everyone this morning and meet some new members! I finished under an hour and was way to excited for the free chicken sandwich at the end!
Race Recap By Scott Orlando
This was only my second time running the National Interstate 8K. The first time I ran the race was in 2019. I typically head to PA for a triathlon the same weekend of this race but family obligations kept me racing local this year.
In 2019 the race started outside the University Of Akron Football Stadium and ended inside the stadium sprinting down the field with the finish near the end zone. The post race celebration featured a craft beer festival inside the stadium. Use of the stadium hasn’t been an option for the race organizers the last few years so now the start line is on the corner of Spicer Street And Vine Street with the finish near the corner of Wolf Ledges Parkway and Carroll Street. Late Registration and packet pickup was held at the James A Rhodes Arena which is located somewhat in between the start and finish area. There was plenty of parking available in the nearby university parking lots at no charge. I chose to park closer to the finish line. It was a 14 minute walk to the start area.
After a Team ER pre race picture it was off to the start line. Weather was favorable with temperatures in the 60’s but high humidity made it feel much warmer. My plan going into the race was to take advantage of the downhill sections increasing my pace and then be more conservative on the uphill sections. My goal was to finish under 38 minutes. Studying the course elevation chart had me a little nervous about the hills. The race started and I pushed the pace in the first mile which featured some long downhill sections. My first mile split was 6:57. I was pretty happy with how I was feeling. I was running loose and felt good but knew the hills would be on the way soon. I stuck with my plan slowing down a bit up the hills and increasing pace on the downhill sections. The strategy seemed to be working well. Each mile I lost a little overall pace per mile but I was still on target to hit my goal. The last mile of the course featured more uphill than downhill parts of the course. By the 4th mile I was really feeling the humidity. I could have used a hydration station heading into the last mile but there were only two on the course with the last one being before the mile 3 marker. A quick right turn at the end of the 4th mile and the finish line was right on top of me. I made a quick last sprint to the finish and was pleased to see I achieved my goal with a finish time of 37:05. This was 30 seconds faster than my pervious time back in 2019. It was great to see so many Team ER members at the race as well as so many other running friends.
The finisher festival was located between the start and finish but closer to the finish. It featured live bands, food trucks, and beer stations. Runners received finisher medals, water, Lemon Lime Prime, pretzels, and bananas as they made their way through the finish line area towards the finisher festival. Each runner received 2 beer tickets and a food ticket to be used for the food trucks. I went with a donut for my food choice. All racers received t-shirts, finisher medals, and drawstring bags
Akron Marathon did an amazing job organizing the race. Their races are truly some of the best in the area. That being said I wouldn’t mind a few tweaks to the race experience. I would prefer to receive a tech shirt rather than a t-shirt. I know many runners have so many tech shirts and like the t-shirts but I just prefer tech shirts. The drawstring bags given to everyone have a hospital sponsor logo on them and I would love to also see them have a race logo as well. Registration was fast and simple but I would have liked to have seen a small expo or some race merchandise for sale. Akron Marathon Race Series usually has vintage race swag they sell at an annual sale and at the marathon. They also just rolled out new race merchandise for this season. It might have been cool to have the opportunity to shop for some of these items at registration or at the finisher festival. I am never a huge fan of racers that start and finish at different locations. I would prefer they be closer to each other or at the same location. Race day photos have been made available for sale. Often races allow you to download low resolution photos for free or one photo for free. The photos are great but fairly expensive. I would love to see them make at least one picture download free. Lastly I think they should have a hydration station every mile or add one additional station at mile 4. This would be particularly helpful for slower runners who have been on the course longer and for hot humid race days. In all it was an amazing race experience and I look forward to the next Akron Marathon Race Series event.