Expo Day has arrived for Team Booze Hounds Inc. The Akron Marathon starts tomorrow at 7 a.m. Everything still feels a bit haphazard. Logistics need ironed out. Decisions remain. But the team is set.
Leg 1 (3.9 miles): "E"
Bio: My brother-in-law has perhaps the greatest athletic history of all of us, spending his high school days as a stand-out soccer and basketball player. He recently graduated from college and spent the summer interning with a youth camp. He still plays recreation league soccer, but once told me he's more suited for running fast for very short distances. That's why we gave him the shortest leg of the race.
Leg 2 (4.8 miles): "R"
Bio: Mrs. Viper's maid of honor teaches part-time at a local university. An on-and-off runner, she may be slightly annoyed to learn that her race section is 0.3 miles longer than mine. She is a fellow beer enthusiast and occasionally plays tennis against my wife. She was asking about arm sleeves for tomorrow, so perhaps she'll find some at the expo tonight.
Leg 3 (7.5 miles): "K"
Bio: OK, I feel kind of bad that Mrs. Viper's cousin is getting the longest section of the race, but truth be told he's the only one on the team who's been running with regularity. He's put me to shame each of the last few times I've seen him, having just returned from a run. The last few years, he's come to watch me finish the marathon, and this will be his first race. His mile pace has been in the sevens, so he will probably be beating my marathon time soon. Having just turned 16, he's the youngest member of the team.
Leg 4 (4.5 miles): Yours Truly
Bio: You've been reading my blog for how long? Check the archives. This will be my sixth consecutive year participating in the Akron Marathon. The last five, though, were in the full event, so this will be my first time running the relay -- or any relay for that matter. My section of the race is the hilliest, traveling through Sand Run and climbing out of the Merriman Valley.
Leg 5 (5.5 miles): Mrs. Viper
Bio: Racing her longest distance ever, my wife was dead set on finishing at Canal Park stadium. Coming off two surgeries and a big work event, she's looking to knock out some stress. Both of us are considering this the beginning of a training cycle, rather than an end. I'm looking forward to cheering her on at the finish, as she has done for me countless times before.
Wish us luck!