This was the inaugural marathon directed by ultrarunner Melissa Cairns.
ALL proceeds benefit local shelters including Cleveland’s Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center and Portage County’s Safer Futures.
Melissa has been working on this very hard for the last year. About one week ago, she had to change her entire marathon course! The final course was hike a bike and trail; so I thought this would good long run material for my last long run before MMT.
I got out for about 3.7 miles before the marathon and 1/2 marathon started; my plan was to get at least 50K in. The course was nicely split up. We went 5K up on the hike a bike trail, then returned to the start/finish line. Then we went the opposite direction on a crushed limestone trail (towpath?), then entered Towner’s Woods for about two miles. We then exited the woods, ran up to mile 8 on the limestone trail, then ran the woods trail loop again, and back to the finish line for exactly 13.1 miles. The marathoners then repeated the loop.
It was drizzling rain as we set out. I alternated between being a little hot in my green windbreaker and out right cold. I got to share trail with NEO TC member Elizabeth for a bit in her trim black and pink ensemble; then I slowed down a bit as the half-marathon pace was a bit fast for me.
My hip flexors were really aching around the half-marathon point. I think it was because of the constant running forward I was doing. In trail running, you don’t do all that much repetitive constant forward motion; there’s obstacles to go over/around, grades to ascend and descend. I did stop and take some Tylenol. I also turned my music on here. The 1/2 marathoners were done and there were about 30 full marathon runners out here, so we were well spread out.
On my third loop through the woods, I tripped on the same exact spot I had on the second loop, but this time I ate dirt. I found it extremely funny. I resolved to walk through this section on my last time through here.
Melissa had nice aid stations-more like an ultra than a marathon!-spaced out. I stopped to eat and drink at all of them. It was a very cold, pretty nasty day for volunteers out there. There were some young kids out volunteering, and I made sure to thank everyone.
I managed to chick Mike Halkovich around mile 22.5, then a nice Live Motley Crue song came on my Zune, so I made short work of the woods trail loop. Then it was less than one mile to the finish, and I finished that strong.
|Race Director Melissa Cairns and the Trail Goddess|
5.10 was my finish time, not bad for a one day taper, and a week of being tired. This race was more for my head than my body. With the amount of trail on this, I don’t think it stressed my body as much as a road marathon would have. I hope to get in maybe one more longish run in the next week, then it’s taper time.
Thanks Melissa, for a great race, and nice payback to the community!!!