After running a 1:43 at the River Run, I was pretty sure I would run slower than that at Akron because Akron has hills! Nothing major but definitely doesn’t make for a fast half marathon time unless you get lucky. However, Akron has amazing crowd support so you never know what you might run there.
Last year, you may remember the little car issue we had and how we made it to the race WAY later than we wanted. It was quite stressful so this year we were way early and literally parked next to the stadium where the finish line was.
We were also really close to the bathrooms.
Time went by pretty quickly and the area was booming with people before I knew it. I headed to the corral early because it was so crowded. I wish I could tell you how awesome the start of this race is every year. There are either things flying over head, fireworks, amazing speeches or this year with the Dream Blue slogan. It was hard not to tear up over it!
The race started and I was hoping the crowd support at this race would hold me steady and not let me go out too fast. This is also a hilly race so I was hoping I was ready after running hilly races all summer.
The first 3 miles blew by and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to hold my pace. I knew I was going to drop to a slower/more comfortable pace. However, shortly after I realized there was someone nearby running close to my pace near me but I kept thinking “no! it’s too early to run with someone for the race and at this pace.” However, it was out of my control and this woman was running right beside me. Which obviously instantly made us friends.
Me and my new friend ran together for the next 6 miles or so. Continuously pushing each other up each of the hills. It was amazing and reminds me how much I love having someone to run with and to push the paces. Eventually, the time of running with my new friend passed as I slowed at a water station and lost her. I could see her in the distance but I couldn’t quite catch up. She was killing it.
There were quite a few more hills after that and I knew my pace was fading but I was not going down without a fight and was determined to keep conquering those hills. I eventually caught up to my friend who I tried to get to come with me but she was done but assured me she was ok.
As I cruised down to the stadium, I took a peak and couldn’t see my friend behind me. I picked up the pace and ran to the finish line with a final time of 1:43:32, like 15 seconds slower than the fast, flat River Run! I was extremely happy with that time but I couldn’t stop looking back for my friend.
I headed on down to the finish area and she jumped right beside me and gave me a giant hug telling me how she PR’d! I couldn’t help but tell her how she kept me on pace for so may of those middle miles.
Even though my race was over, I quickly ran over to the car to grab my phone so that I could see how Ryan was doing! He was running the full marathon…again and was aiming for a PR and he nailed it! I cannot tell you how amazing he is at crushing these running goals!