RUNNER, NOT WINNER

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RUNNER, NOT WINNER

Written by Michael Reynolds on 11 October 2018.

My name is Michael Reynolds and I run races, fun runs, and workouts with you in Central Ohio. These are my observations and impressions of running as well as inputs from all the interactions with my fellow runners.

RACING:

The Peggy Bock Memorial Race for Hope was held October 9th at Griggs Reservoir. The 200 participants were mainly friends, family, and associates of Peggy Bock who ran/walked to raise money in her name for Cancer research. For causes like this the race is merely the reason for the gathering not the focus. There was racing on this out and back with Tim Earlenbaugh (1st in 55-59), Bob Redfield (2nd in 55-59), and Randy Smith (25:54) of the CRRC representing well. I like this challenging course with its twists and turns and a sprinkling of hills for a 5K. (Ratings: Shirt– B (White short sleeve shirt with a large multicolor logo), Course-B+ (One of the few out and backs that I like), Organization-C (Chip time, mile markers in place, but the award ceremony was very late), and Refreshments-C+ (Fruit, drinks, bread)

The 26th Columbus Marathon on October 16th enjoyed great weather, which always makes a marathon doable. It was my 25th running of the course and I changed my approach. I was not in great racing shape so I did a Galloway. Each mile I walked one minute and from mile 1 at that. It allowed me to tour the course and enjoy the bands (better mix and number), people (spectators the same, runners the same), and novelties (LCD speed indicator at 8 miles had me at 5MPH). I count the Columbus Marathon a success once again. Ratings: Shirt–B+ (Long sleeve dark blue t-shirt dark logo. The medal is better, not quite there yet.), Course-B (From others the remark was the course has scenery, no abrupt hills, and good water and spectators), Organization-B (No problems with thousands running.), and Refreshments-C (Bread, water, fruit-luckily I am not that hungry at the end).

On October 28th, Scott and I went to the Dead Celebrity 5K at Victory’s in German Village. This year the costumes were more prevalent (male winner ran with a desk covered with cigarettes-Peter Jennings and female winner –Bob Marley) and the crowd was almost 300 runners/walkers. Scott blasted off for the 8PM start and although it was an out and back, it was so dark on Whittier Street that I never saw Scott until the finish. He did a 21:07 as I cruised to a 23:26 with most of the passers being women. Some guy dressed as a skeleton (0% Body Fat) kept talking to me until I realized that Dr Atkins was a Roadrunner (Jim Tucker). Ratings: Shirt-A- (Black sweatshirt with huge bright logo of Groucho Marx) Course-C- (Out and back with no light and a little long), Organization-C (The race was fine but the award ceremony took until 10PM), and Refreshments-C+ (Gum, candy, water, fruit).

Twelve hours after the Dead Celebrity was the Outrun Multiple Sclerosis 5K at Fred Beekman Park near OSU. To show you that I am not the craziest runner, I was joined by at least a half dozen other Dead Celebrity runners for this race. Cold (28 degrees) accompanied us as we did this two-loop course. After the race all the double up runners confirmed that they ran faster here than the Dead Celebrity. Ratings: Shirt-C (White short sleeve with basic logo) Course-C- (I do not like double loops but it was fairly flat), Organization-D (No mile markers, lack of trophies promised), and Refreshments-C (Cliff bars, water, fruit).

The Clintonville 5K was held at Whetstone High School on November 5th for the purposes of raising money for the Whetstone Student Council. The weather was so warm a few runners ran without shirts. The course was flat with part Olentangy Running path and Whetstone Grass Cross Country course. This low-key race saw Rob Moore’s son, Alex come in second, and Kevin O’Grady’s son, Colin, run his first race. Julie Eisenaugle took 2nd women’s overall and received a trophy as tall as her. Pete Reynolds and I received the satisfaction of running yet another race. Ratings: Shirt-D (White T-Shirt where the sponsors logo was 10 times the event logo) Course-C+ (Out and back, marked haphazardly, little long), Organization-C (A charity race, nobody was really disappointed), and Refreshments-D (Water, coffee, bananas).

Can you believe a flat marathon in West Virginia? Would you believe several runners shirtless on November 13? Can you accept that Rita Barnes beat me by 30 minutes on a training run before her real race, JFK 50 miler next week? The third one is easy to accept but the first two make the Marshall University Marathon a unique race this year. A total of 500 ran of which 350 ran the full marathon. It is flat, much flatter than Columbus (yea right 12-17 miles is flat in Columbus). For $40 they have a free pasta dinner the night before the race, the fleece jacket is great, and the finish is special. At 25 miles they hand you a carnation for the fountain on Marshall University commemorating the 1970 football team that was killed in a plane crash. Then the last 100 yards is from goalpost to goalpost on the football field and they hand you a football to run that last 100 yards. The winner (2:44:40, only 4 people under 3 hours) spent Saturday in Bethlehem, Pa at a NCAA Regional Meet running a 35:19 for a 10K. The bus returned at 11PM Saturday night and he started the marathon at 8AM. The 21 year olds comment on finishing “I’m definitely taking tomorrow off.” A blind girl qualified for Boston at 4:45 and Craig Holcomb of Cleveland, Oh stopped in for a 3:44. So what? It was marathon 46 in his 50 marathons in 50 states in 2005. Yes, he is single. For me I ran conservative (4:26:10 which is 18 minutes faster than last year) and missed the rain that fell after the race. Ratings: Shirt-A (Early signup got a first class fleece jacket and the medal is two sided 3-D) Course-B (Flat, loops back on itself twice, and several turns), Organization-B (On time, well marked, lots of water, great finish), and Refreshments-B (Donatos Pizza, Pepsi, fruit, water, cookies).

Thanksgiving Day, 2000 pumpkin pies, and a blizzard have to add up to the Frontrunner Turkey Trot. Thanksgiving morning, November 24, saw in excess of 2000 runner/walkers braving high winds, cold, and snow. Donations for food and old running shoes vied with signup and runners reunions. The start is chaos and I started in the masses. The downhill mile gives way to the long stretch on Kenny before going to the turnaround on Fischinger and you realize that the stretch is uphill. The return is great until the last mile and the full fury of the storm punched you back on your heels. No results are kept but I saw some finishers without tickets for pies (I gave mine to one) so I am sure that the event has gotten even larger. Overall my impression is this is an event not a race. Ratings: Shirt-B+ (White long sleeve t-shirt w/ large themed logo) Course-D (I am torn by this selection. I hate the course and who doesn’t but how else could you handle the numbers), Organization-C- (Late start, no results, and mile markers hard to see), and Refreshments-C- (Bread, fruit, and water).

From thousands to less than a 100 runners at the Running of the Turkeys at OSU-Newark on November 26th, this race has always been a nice one for me. Running through the campus, over bridges, and on bike paths this out and back race provides series of changes to make the miles not seem so bad. The 5K and 10K are started together with the 10K repeating the 5K. Scott, my son, ran the 5K in a fair 24:38 but I felt good with 23:25 front 5K and finished with 48:35. Most people receive awards (Scott Reynolds-3rd in 19 and Under - 5K, Kathi Hanley- 1st in 55-59- 10K, Bob Redfield- 2nd in 55-59- 5K, and Mike Reynolds-2nd in Slow and Old-10K) and work off a bit more holiday stuffing. Ratings: Shirt-C (White long sleeve t-shirt w/ small turkey logo) Course-B- (Out and back and twice if 10K hurts the grade but multiple twists and turns keep it interesting), Organization-B (On time, mile markers visible, only one water at 5K), and Refreshments-C (Bagels, candy, cookies, and water).

VIEWPOINT:

In January all things are possible and one of the highlights for me is the Runner’s World Marathon Calendar. For a few hours all things are possible and I dream of all the places in the US and the World where I could visit and run. Here is how my mind works as I go through the list.

Do you know that there are two marathons on New Year’s Day? The Redding Marathon in Northern California and the Texas Marathon, which is held just outside Houston, Texas. The odds are someone has run these races with a hangover and that is the story I want to read about. If you miss the Texas Marathon then do not despair, the Houston Marathon is only 15 days later. On February 13th the appropriately named Valentine Marathon is run in Olympia, Washington but the marathon I want to run that day is the Tahiti Marathon. The place to be if you are a marathoner is the Greater Phoenix area. On January 9th in Phoenix is the Rock ‘N” Roll Arizona, January 16th is the Lost Dutchman in Apache Junction, February 20th is the Scottsdale Marathon in obviously Scottsdale, and to finish up on March 13th is the Valley Of The Sun Marathon in Mesa. I have always wondered about the Martian Marathon held on March 19th in Northville, Michigan, which is a suburb of Detroit. Detroit is different but extraterrestrial?  The next day March 20th the Bataan Memorial Death Marathon is held in White Springs Missile Range, New Mexico. I can honestly say that running in a marathon with death in its title is not comforted by the thought of running on a missile range.  The last marathon of interest in the first quarter is the Tri-State Marathon in Castle Clifts, Utah. The area sounds beautiful and running through three states does break up the distance.

Just to confuse you it seems the January 1st marathon is called Texas but the one on April 3rd is called The Texas Marathon but this one is in Dallas, Texas. How confusing. Now Ohio is under my scrutiny. On April 10th the pinheads have scheduled ORRRC in Xenia, Ohio, Athens in Athens, Ohio, and Glass City in Toledo, Ohio. Can you believe that there are enough marathoners to make these successful? Take my advice, go to the Paris in Paris, France that day instead.  The next week if you have run the Paris, cross the channel and run London on April 17th. If you ran one of the Ohio marathons you can go on the 17th to Germany To France, which is held in French Lick, Indiana. Would love to know where that name came from. Another name that concerns me is on April 25th in Waterloo, Ontario called St John Ambulance. Normally I avoid ambulances but it is nice to know they are there. On May 14th is the Fargo in Fargo, North Dakota and Brookings in Brookings, South Dakota. They are 150 miles apart in two states that have few people. Maybe they all run marathons in that area. Love to see the T Shirt for May 22nd in Red Deer, Alberta at the Woody’s RV World marathon. Of course on the other side of Canada that day is the Blue Nose International in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I get blue nose in the winter but is it still winter on May 22nd in Halifax? On June 11th in Storm Lake, Iowa we have the Marathon-To-Marathon marathon. If you run this thinking it is anything but a marathon then you are in need of counseling. Finally on June 18th the theme is Midnight. There are three marathons that day and we start in Anchorage, Alaska at Mayor’s Midnight Sun, then on to Mayo, Yukon Territory for the Mayo Midnight, and lastly Tromso, Norway for the Midnight Sun.

The last half of the year has the more traditional city marathons but a few unique ones sneak in for our attention. On July 2nd is the Paavo Nurmi held in Turku, Finland but to make a matched pair you need to also run the Paavo Nurmi in Hurley, Wisconsin on August 13th. On August 20th in Choteau, Montana is the Grizzly and if you can catch a plane on August 21st in Anchorage, Alaska is Humpy’s which would give you a duo few could match. August 27th is the Great Tibetan in Ladakh, Tibet. My biggest fear is anything yak being served at the refreshment tables along the way. I know something about the Virgil Forest Monster in Virgil, New York. Held on September 4th it is a tough uphill half marathon that is out and back while the marathon is doing the half marathon again. On October 2nd in Fort Collins, Colorado is the Easy Street Wheat. Just saying it seems like it would be a great marathon. With my daughter going to University of Kentucky I will need to look into the November 12th Man O’War in Lexington, Kentucky. Remember Tri-State in Castle Clifts, Utah on March 26th? If you miss that one they repeat it on November 12th. November 19th is the Valley Of Fire in Overton, Nevada and hopefully that is not an indication of the temperature in that marathon. The last marathon is the dream of all and it is Honolulu on December 11th. Running in Hawaii in December, where else would you want to be?

If any of these marathons intrigue you then you can do what I do and go to www.marathonguide.com and drill into each of these races. Maybe one will strike your fancy and you will run it. Then please do me a favor and write an article on it so that I can learn more of my dreams.

I would enjoy your comments at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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