Cleveland Race Recap: Sweaty is the new Hot

By: Rachel Gibson

So my last race (written about here if you need a refresher from my exciting wittiness) was pretty run-of-the-mill. The marathon I ran yesterday in Cleveland? Far from it. Here are the highlights from my 21st marathon, and my 4th in 2012:


  1. It was my second to longest marathon time I’ve ever run. I’m not going to use the adjective “worst” because I honestly enjoyed the whole weekend, even when it got hot, even when the world started spinning and I almost passed out, even when the ambulances kept coming for runners all around me… “Worst” implies that it wasn’t enjoyable. “Worst” implies that I failed. And I didn’t fail; I finished it despite all of the above, and I really felt like I earned that medal (along with a glass of water the size of Lake Erie).
  2. It was HOT. Like….sweating at the start line hot. I wanted to yell (or throw something) at the emcee when he said “sunny and mid-80’s is the forecast, what a beautiful day!” Which, for standing and talking into a mic, does sound pretty great. For running 26.2 miles? Not so much. I’m fairly certain I lost 26.2 pounds just in sweat, especially during those super long stretches (miles, literally!) that faced directly into the blazing sun. Crazy hot. But that’s why I ran slowly—to avoid the brutal effects of dehydration and get to the finish line via my own two feet instead of on a stretcher.
  3. The views were beautiful. Having lived within seagull-populated distance of two of the five Great Lakes during my lifetime, seeing uninterrupted views of beautiful Lake Erie were a huge treat. Hooray for the Great Lakes!
  4. A priest was out sprinkling all the runners with holy water. Which was definitely a marathon first. I was tempted to grab his holy vessel and drink from it, (gasp! It’s a joke…a joke!) but I refrained and just kept plodding along into the sun, hoping the blessing would last another 14 miles.

All in all, it was a great weekend full of amazing new local restaurants (and brews, of course), wonderful hospitality from Julie (my father’s girlfriend, who ran it, along with dad and me; and we all made it, despite the weather conditions, which is pretty amazing. We all deserve big pats on the back…or beer. We opted for beer.), who, if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to run this race, as my marathon hotel budget is running low and she happens to live right in the Cleveland area. It was just an all-around wonderful escape from a massive amount of work and study materials that I conveniently left on my desk back in West Virginia for the weekend. So there you go; a much more interesting marathon experience for the books (and blog)—and now I’m done with road races until September; I can’t believe it!

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