Sunday, January 1, 2006

Looking Back - Clevland Marathon 2005 - Ohio

The Clevland Rocks & Runs aka Rite Aid Clevland Marathon was my 3rd marathon for 2005. It was held on 22 May 2005 - the day I was celebrating my birthday. It was a weird decision, considering over the past years, I usually took leave to rest & relax on my special day. This time, I decided to do something more extraordinary to remember my birthday and so Clevland, Ohio, here I come.

The summer of USA should have some nice weather to run - I thought to myself. Nevertheless, I packed my New Balance Dri-Long Sleeved running shirt together with my other sleeveless running shirts. I also brought along the Clevland Dri-Short Sleeved running shirt, which was given free (including the overseas runners) when you sign up early for the marathon. I arrived Clevland on the morning of 19 May, via Greyhound Bus from Chicago - a 6-hour long journey.
After leaving my luagguage in the hotel, I went sight-seeing and covered the Calvaliers' Gund Arena Statdium, Indians' Jacobs Field, HRC, Clevland Museum of Art, and Clevland Museum of Natural History. I also visited the marathon expo, which was very large as it coincided with the health expo held concurrently. A nice guy (pictured) bought me a cap upon learning that I was going to run on my birthday the next day. It was very sweet of him. After collected my Bib No., I had an easy day for rest of the day, choosing to rest early for the next day's run.

The weather was perfect on the marathon day! I managed to keep up with the pace while enjoying the route. But soon after the halfway mark, just after the 1/2 marathoners turned into their finishing line, I began to feel the effect of insufficient training. I started to slow down a little after the 15-mile marker. And after turning into the stretch of roads leading to Clevland Museum of Art, I decided to take some walk breaks to enjoy the beautiful scenary. It was not until I reached the path parallel to the highway, that I realised that I had better start running or risked finishing this as my worst-timed marathon. I managed to push myself for that last 4 miles, including overcoming a slope (which looked more like a hill by then), and a number of turnings before running into downtown Clevland, and finished in a net time of 6hrs 11mins 27secs.

The day after the marathon, I made a point to "exercise" my tired legs so as to recover faster. I visited the Great Lakes Science Centre as well as went on board William G. Mather (a huge tanker) & a retired US submarine - USS COD 224, all within the vicinity of downtown Clevland. Then, I'm off to Sandusky, Ohio to visit the world best amusement theme park - Cedar Point. I had a truly exciting time taking all the fantastic rides although I could do without some of the aches.

Nevertheless, I was satisfied with my effort in Clevland. The course was certainly not as flat as it advertised in the website, although the Finisher Medal was extremely attractive and cool. The completion of this marathon also gave me great confidence as I embarked on my 4th marathon in Madison, Wisconsin, exactly one week later.

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