I hadn’t checked Ohio off the 50 states Marathon quest yet. I was in Ohio for work. That means I needed to schedule in a marathon in Ohio. Makes total sense, right?! So I did just that! On April 9th I laced up my running shoes and headed out on a great Ohio spring day to run 26.2 miles.
The marathon took place in a small town just outside of Dayton. I met about 350 other marathoners on a sunny morning in Xenia, Ohio. My expectation was to just cross the finish line. This was not something I was racing, but rather a training run as I am nearing my first 50-miler in May. I started the race a little hot at a 9:30 pace. Considering I’d been averaging about a minute per mile slower than that on all my other training runs, I knew I was going to slow down the last half. I was enjoying my chat with a nice gentleman from Chicago the first few miles. Eventually I dropped back knowing it was going to be bad news bears if I didn’t! At that point a nice lady from the Toledo area caught up to me and started chatting. We ended up running the rest of the race together. She and I chatted the entire time and about 10 miles from the end I welcomed her walk breaks as the day started to warm into the mid-70’s. I ended up with a nice little sunburn on my right side as a result of that. I’ve got to remember the sunscreen for these warmer races where I’m out 4+ hours! When all was said and done we crossed the finish line around the 4:45 mark. Not a bad time for an easy run and then run/walk the last 10 miles. I am sure I could have finished sub 4:30 with how I was feeling, but I knew having company on the run was worth the extra time.
The route took us through fields and Ohio countryside. It stayed mostly on a rails to trails path. The scenery was nice and minus a little out/back around mile 21 the race made for a very enjoyable day. I was over the out/back before it even started! The race was well worth my $40 and for that price, I’d put it on the recommend list. The aid stations were plenty, but no frills. That being said, I was never wanting for water or port-a-potties and that is a good thing in my book!
Ohio. State #31. Check!