Marathoners pass the Polymer Science building at the University of Akron
I know for a fact one of you is running the Akron Marathon (make that two), but I'm sure there are legions of silent readers who look up to me with slack-jawed awe in anticipation of my encouragement and advice regarding their pursuits in the Rubber City this weekend.
Fear not, my drunk, little minions, the Viper cometh.
As Ms. Addiction says, we Akron racers have one more sleep and one sleepless night before the marathon. I assume you've already prepared for the distance and the hills. Now let's get your mind right.
The Viper's Keys to Success
There are two points along the marathon route that will kill you: the turn onto Howard Street and the second half of the race.
Howard Street goes straight downhill into the Cuyahoga River valley. Just plan on shredding your quads on the descent. This part of the race scares the shit from my bowels. Good luck. Don't die.
The second half of the Akron Marathon is all uphill, as you slowly climb out of that valley. If anyone tells you, "It's all downhill from here," consider this a false statement. And when you get to the Bastard Garman Hill, you might pee your shorts. But don't worry--your shorts will be so wet from sweat that no one will notice. After that, though, it's all downhill.
Your booze taper should have started at 7 a.m. today to allow the toxins to vacate your bloodstream and to properly hydrate. If you haven't already done so, return the office flask to the bottom drawer until Monday.
The good news is that the Akron Marathon is well-supported. There are plenty of bathrooms and aid stations throughout the course. You should have plenty to drink and plenty of GU. There is only one stretch (through the parks) that isn't lined with spectators cheering you on.
Entering Canal Park at the finish is amazing. Revel in the moment. I promise you that nothing will hurt when you see that crowd cheering for you. Let their voices carry you through the finishline.
The post-race "beer" is Michelob Ultra. Get one for the toddler in your life and head to one of the nearby bars for a proper selection. Lockview, 69 Taps, The Northside, Ido Bar, Matinee, Annabell's, Ray's Pub, Frank's Place and Rockne's are all Team BHI-approved rehydration stations. The first two are within ambling distance of the finish and the others are all along the marathon course. Also nearby is the Winking Lizard (two locations, actually).
Sights of Akron
Here are some things to look at as you tour my fair city:
- National Inventors Hall of Fame (at the start)
- The All-American Bridge (the "Y" bridge)
- Firestone Park
- The University of Akron (look for the Red Rocket on the track)
- The Towpath, Sand Run Park and West Akron (i.e., the Viper's running turf, sacred ground)
- Stan Hywet Hall
- The Viper's apartment
- David Giffels' house
- Highland Square
- Diamond Grille
- The Civic Theater
- Canal Park
- And somewhere overhead, the Goodyear Blimp
Where to See the Viper
OK, for those of you who hope to run into me after the race, good luck. I am elusive. And Martini and I have to get to a post-race bash. We have lots of drinking to do before we reach Blackout Island. However, I will hang out at Canal Park for a while after I finish. Timeframe: 10:45 a.m. (pfft!) to 11:30 a.m.
How will you know me? Haven't you seen my picture? I will be wearing a bright yellow New Balance tech shirt, black Champion shorts, red and gray New Balance shoes. And, I may or may not have "Viper" on my race bib.
Disclaimer: I'm just as friendly in person as I am online and I don't like meeting strange people. I can only promise to try and be nice.
See you soon! Cheers!