ORRRC Marathon Part One: The Facts

I realize I owe you a few race reports. I’m going to start with the most recent (and the biggest), because it’s still fresh in my mind. And it was an amazing experience. But first…the race..

Facts:
The Ohio River Road Runners Club (ORRRC) Marathon (46th year) & Half Marathon (24th year) took place on Sunday April 7, 2013 in Xenia, Ohio.

images-2 The course, for the half anyway, is pleasant enough: start at the YMCA, a quick loop through the quaint town, and off to the bikeway for an out-and-back race. The marathon follows the same course, but spends a much longer time on the bike path, with a road loop to double you back. There are a few easy hills in the town, and there are a few rollers as the bike path approaches cross streets. It was a nice change to not think about cars and traffic. Even at the road crossings, friendly volunteers and police are there to keep you safe.

I ran the half, so I can’t speak to the second part of the course. I’ve heard it’s fairly non-descript, but, if the weather is right, it lends itself to a PR.

Too bad for us, it wasn’t. Although the morning started with great temps in the 50s, it quickly reached 70 by the second hour. Normally that would be tolerable, but I think we still had snow last week…no acclimation period for that kind of heat. Not to mention a strong headwind….tree-lined bike paths make excellent wind tunnels. Sounds great if the wind is at your back I guess. Rough when it’s in your face…for miles. That’s where the full marathoners had the toughest time. The wind can rob you of energy quickly.

The volunteers were great…even the police officers cheered runners along with positive words. There’s real food at the finish…fruit, two kinds of soup, chili, and cookies. Good cookies. Yum.

The price is right too. If you register early, it’s only $25 for either distance, and that gets you a shirt and a medal. Can’t be beat there. It’s a short drive from Columbus, just over an hour, and most of our club made the trip that morning, save a few dedicated souls who stayed overnight in a local hotel.

Our club, RunDMC (dailymile Columbus) brought at least 35 members to the race this year…even more to cheer…and it was nice to see so many familiar faces.

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This was the race where I planned, up until 5 weeks ago, to PR my half marathon.

Xenia.
It was to be my finest (two) hour(s).

As it turns out, it became the most meaningful race I’ve done in a long time…and it had nothing to do with me. But we’ll have to save that for Part 2.

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One at a Time

I’ve been trying to come up with a way to share all the great ideas I discovered and people I met while I was in Texas. And there’s only one way to do it…one at a time.

So let’s start at the beginning.

Last week I traveled to Houston, Texas for the Galloway Program Directors’ annual meeting. 60+ directors made the trip for an opportunity to meet each other, exchange ideas, and of course, meet up with Jeff Galloway and Chris Twiggs. The Woodlands Galloway group hosted this year’s meeting, and did a fantastic job. The area was great, with restaurants within walking distance of our hotel, and plenty of places to run. On Saturday, we ran right past the bike transition area for IRONMAN Texas! I could go on and on.

We had a variety of speakers on Saturday during our meeting, and I’d like to take a little time each day to highlight some of my favorites.

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I met Andy Voggenthaler on Saturday, and was immediately inspired by his presentation. An athlete himself, Andy founded Race Guards as a way to give back to the running/ cycling/ triathlete community.

From their website:

“Race Guards was established in March 2012 in San Diego, California to provide in-race first aid for athletic events throughout the country with a focus on running and cycling races, triathlons and endurance events. Race Guards is comprised of volunteers trained in CPR, AED and First Aid who are committed to assisting race participants with any medical or physical support need in a race. Race Guards work in concert with the medical director and medical support team at the events to provide medical support from start to finish.”

Here’s how it works: Once you’ve completed the safety training, you volunteer to provide support at events. You wear their jersey and carry a first aid kit. You offer motivation and basic first aid if necessary. Although some Race Guards are EMTs and medical professionals, you don’t have to be. You just have to have a heart for people and a willingness to give back to your running/ cycling community.

The goal of Race Guards is to provide this service to Race Directors free-of-charge. The funds required to run the company come from sponsors, not from buying this service. Race Guards are all volunteers! How can you argue with that?

Race Guards started in California, but they want to build teams local to races across the country. As more people volunteer in different cities and states, Race Guards can cover more races in your community.

You can find out more information about Race Guards and Volunteer for the team on their website! And don’t forget to like their Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter.

Attention Ohioans: I volunteered this week to be a Race Guard. I would love to build a team in our community to cover races like the Capital City Half Marathon, the Flying Pig Marathon, the Cleveland Marathon, the Columbus Marathon, and more! Would you consider volunteering your time to help someone else?

Rain rain, go away!

If you live in Ohio, you’ve likely noticed something crazy is happening with the weather. Many parts of the country have experienced the strangest “winter” this year. And yes, those quotation marks are intentional.

Can you call 67F winter?

Apparently you can in Ohio. Especially when it’s likely to snow again by the end of the week.
I’m all for the elimination of winter all together.

Yes. I know: Global warming is bad. Melting of the polar ice caps will cause devastating global changes. Blah, blah, blah.
The truth is I don’t like the cold one bit. It never was a problem for me when I was younger. I grew up in CT….we had four even seasons, and our fair share of snow. I haven’t lived there in over 12 years now, and my body has grown accustomed to the new places I lived: South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, and now Ohio. But I’ve also developed some other issues, like Reynaud’s Syndrome, which make my hands and feet extra sensitive to the cold. I can’t even think about wearing flip flops to the grocery store without having an attack in the freezer section! It’s ridiculous.
Even more than the cold, my body is affected by the rain. Two days prior, I can tell you, without fail, if it’s going to rain. As much as I like being a human barometer, sensing the change in pressure only means one thing…the pain is on the way. So for the last few days, even though I’m glad it’s not the white stuff, this pain has been tortuous. It’s not just my joints or old injuries flaring up. It’s everything…from the hair follicles on my head to the tips of my toes. Everything.

The only thing that makes the pain unnoticeable is the introduction of a different kind of pain…enter the hill workout from this afternoon.

More on that tomorrow….
And so I ask you…is it summer yet?

Tomorrow’s news: There are no hills in Ohio!