Today I got to run my first August Half-Marathon (though it was probably also my last August Half-Marathon)! It was a race put on by the organizers of the Akron Marathon called the Goodyear Half-Marathon. 90% humidity made for a very challenging race experience! Still, I go into these events with multiple levels of aspirations for what I might be able to accomplish. After training hard this summer, a personal record didn’t seem completely impossible; unfortunately, that didn’t happen. My secondary goal was to finish under 1 hour and 40 minutes — and I missed that by just 12 seconds. Still, I managed to record my 5th fastest half-marathon. I gave my best effort (considering the weather conditions). I was able to keep running the whole time. And I was just happy to be out at an official event like this one, after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now I can say that I’ve completed my 20th half-marathon. (Though I feel I should mention that this includes four unofficial events that my friends and I organized for ourselves in 2020 when all other races were shut down). In any event, I’ve got official bibs and medals from eleven different months of the year. So, I’m just one February race from the Half-Marathon of the Month Club!
The organizers of the Goodyear Half-Marathon really put together a solid event. The race started at 6:30 AM, in order to try and minimize heat exhaustion. We ran past a number of Goodyear landmarks on the east side of Akron: the current world headquarters for the company… the original factory buildings (topped by the iconic Wingfoot sign)… the hangar and airstrip for the Goodyear Blimp… the old Rubber Bowl football stadium (which looks like an amazing ruin from the Industrial Age)… and even the Goodyear Proving Grounds (test track for tire prototypes).
Race Registration brought some great swag including a great T-shirt featuring the Goodyear Blimp… a really sharp-looking finisher’s medal featuring the Blimp and the iconic Clocktower… a pair of Asics running socks branded with the Akron Marathon Race Series “Run the Blue Line” tagline… a cool sticker… and vouchers for a free beer and a Swenson’s burger (to be redeemed off-site, because of COVID-19 safety protocol). I’d totally sign up for this event again…
If they did it in February.