The Canton City Marathon started in downtown Canton and was a two-loop course with one out-and-back section. The race description was upfront that it was a "hilly" course and it in fact did have a number of ups and downs.
Race day temperatures were perfect, starting at 7:30 a.m. with mid-50 temps. We were lucky with cloud cover for most of the race so even when the temperature climbed it was not unbearably hot.
I decided to stick with a goal of a 3:45 finish time and so made my way to that pace group at the start of the race. The race was very small, with about 120 marathon runners. We did start with the half-marathoners the first loop so that added a few more hundred runners to make the race feel bigger for the beginning miles. The number of runners, however, was a bit thin, so the 3:45 pacer, Randy, felt like my very own personal pacer!
As I said, the course was a bit hilly. Especially for the last loop, Pacer Randy would run up the hills and I would lag behind.... only to catch him on the downhills. Water stops were plentiful and lots of race volunteers. Given the small number of people running, crowd support was decent with a few bands thrown in to keep things lively. I did try out my pair of Sure Sport compression calf sleeves. I love the different colors instead of boring white or black. I have previously wore a different brand for my longer races. These sleeves felt great and they passed the test. I will definitely be wearing them at the North Coast race.
|One of my free photos|
|At the finish line|
At a time when the "major" marathon entry fees are going through the roof (over $200 for NYC, $175 for Boston, $185 for Chicago!!!), this marathon is a real bargain. Free parking, free shoes, free beer, free photos, no hassle and the registration entry fee was only $60.