This past Sunday, I ran my first marathon relay. Ever since I ran Hatfield McCoy Marathon in June, I’ve been conflicted about where I want to go next with my running.

Do I want to work on speed or distance? Should my next goal race be another full, a half or a 5K? What am I going to do in 2017?

I’ve been working on getting back to the “fun” of running – just going out there any enjoying every step, not worrying about my time or what I need to be doing after I am finished.

So, I took a chance and volunteered to run a leg of the Northern Ohio Marathon relay. I didn’t know any of the other teammates, and I didn’t know what to expect. At the end, I found a new way

Here are five reasons why you should run a marathon relay.

1. You get to meet new people.
I’m always looking for new running partners. So, when I had race with complete strangers, I took the chance. Are you worried about boring your friends with running talk? Find more!

Left to right: Paul, Jennifer, Matt, Carol, me, Josh

2. You can have all the fun without the training.
If you are recovering from injury, haven’t found time or just don’t feel like training for a full, this is a great way to experience one without putting the work into it. We all traveled in one van along the course which allowed us to (obviously) transition easily while participating in the entire race.

3. You get to make signs!
When you’re not focused on training, you could be focused on another fun aspect of the race: signage.

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Exhibit A: Matt (left) and Josh (right) with that one thought every runner has at some point in the race.

matthewlayne

Exhibit B: Matt making sure everyone actually is mindful of the impending zombie apocalypse. We all know the advantage we have over non-runners. Strides, tempo runs and interval training should be part of every emergency preparedness plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. You can observe and learn from other runners.

Running alongside other runners and starting conversations is a great way to improve your own strategy. With a relay, you’re not worried about your time or a PR. So, if you’re lucky enough, you can find someone you know and not only provide company, but observe what they do.

Northern Ohio Marathon - I Run for Bacon

John ran the full Northern Ohio Marathon. He was coming off a fantastic finish at the Burning River 100 mile in July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. You get to share the glory.

Bragging rights are still allowed. Now, you can go to work on Monday and tell people you ran a marathon. You ran the whole way, and you didn’t stop. Also, you have the medal to prove it!

 

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