Another marathon in the books! Number 7.
Today I ran the Canton Football HOF Marathon in 3:43:50. We had great weather with clear blue skies and temps in the 40s. I only looked at the course map the night before the race, but didn't spend too much time looking at it since I'm not familiar with Canton. The course was really enjoyable. It went through several neighborhoods, downtown Canton, by the McKinley memorial and by Perry High School. So there was a lot of variety and everything was new to me anyways! I liked the sections in the neighborhood in the second half of the race. It went up and down each parallel street. It seemed to make the distance go by faster since you could split up these sections up in your mind and could also see runners ahead of you at each turn.
I intentionally took the first half slower so I could have a stronger second half. I wanted to run the first 13.1 in 1:45 and hit that almost on the nose, coming through at 1:46. In the second half, I didn't really "hit the wall" until mile 22 or 23. My pace started to really slow down in the last 5K. I made it a game to pick people off from 18-22. I also tried to stay ahead of the 3:35 pacer as long as possible and even try to catch the 3:30 pacer. However a little before mile 20 at Perry HS, I could hear the paper that the pacer was carrying flapping in the wind and soon enough he was next to me. I tried to hang with him for as long as I could, but he went further and further out of sight.
The race finished in Fawcett Stadium on the field which was cool. They had Subway sandwiches, bananas and water afterward. The medal is in the shape of the stadium and actually has a battery and button on the back to make the stadium lights turn on and flash! We also got a nice fleece blanket with the race logo on it.
All in all, I had a great time. As much as I've grown to like trails
and ultras, the feeling I still get after a road marathon never gets old.