Monday, October 21, 2013

It's kind of a big deal...

The slogan of this year's Columbus Marathon & Half Marathon, was "It's Kind Of A Big Deal!". I couldn't agree more. Certainly the accomplishments of all the runners on Sunday was a big deal, but more notable for me was huge success this event has been. I first ran the Columbus Marathon in 2006 and followed it up with marathons in Akron, Chicago and New York. In 2010 I decided to run Columbus a final time and hang up my marathon shoes. This past spring, however, I got the itch again and knew there was only one race I wanted to do. The memories of racing 26.2 miles through the streets of Columbus in the fall is about as neat as it gets for an Ohio runner.

Fortunately, three of my running buddies; Amber, Kristin and Tommy, decided to join me, which made this year's Columbus experience my most memorable of the three. Although we trained together almost every Saturday this summer, oddly enough, because of the over 15,000 other runners crammed into the start corrals on Sunday morning at 7:30am, none of us ran together. It wasn't until the race was over that we were reunited and able to celebrate.

After running together on Saturday mornings for the entire summer,
my running buddies and I were all on our own for our final 26.2

Columbus certainly does it right. The morning began with music from The Danger Brothers blasting at the start line and fireworks streamed from the top of a building to signal the start of each wave of runners. The course routed us through a number of beautiful neighborhoods, my favorites being Bexley, German Village and Victorian Village. I was also thrilled by a short trip through the south endzone of Ohio Stadium and I couldn't help but raise my arms and act like I just scored a touchdown in front of those 106,000 empty seats. I even got a few claps from a some race spectators who realized what I was thinking. There were musical groups, solo singers and high school bands sprinkled around the course and the fans, oh the fans... they were everywhere. I've often wondered what makes race fans cheer for complete strangers and Columbus is no exception. Maybe they just like a good party, whatever their reason, the thousands upon thousands of fans that lined the streets seemed to be having as much fun as the participants. The biggest mob of fans was at the finish in front of Nationwide Arena, where the noise is like adrenaline shooting through your veins. Any pain you were feeling the last six miles completely disappeared when you heard those folks yelling. It's a big ending for a bid day.

I'm glad I decided to run Columbus a final time and I'm hanging up marathon shoes, again. If my running buddies try to talk me into another one I'll simply tell them no thanks. Unless it's Columbus, then maybe I'll think about  it. After all, it's kind of a big deal!

It's kind of a big medal!  Measuring 4 inches square
and heavy, this years medal was the biggest I've ever seen

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A historic day for all of Ohio...

Any long-time Fish Report reader realizes there has always been one constant on the website and that is sports. Although I almost always focus on high school sports, I'm also a fan of professional and college athletics as well. Whenever possible, I try to watch my two favorite football teams, the Cleveland Browns and the Ohio State Buckeyes. If I do miss a game it's usually because something more important came up. For example, the biggest game I ever missed happened 18 years ago on September 30th, 1995...

You see, when you're planning a wedding, there's a lot of things to think about. Calling the priest. Reserving the hall. Booking the band. Agreeing on a honeymoon destination. One of the last things I thought about in 1994 when deciding my wedding date was the Ohio State football schedule. Even if the Buckeyes were playing Notre Dame for the first time in 60 years! I don't remember exactly who broke the news to me, but I remember my Ohio State friends reminding me about it more than enough times leading up to the big day.

September 30th, 1995 turned out to be a special day for me and it was a special day for the Bucks. That Notre Dame game broke an Ohio Stadium attendance record at the time and former St. Henry star Bobby Hoying had a huge day for OSU throwing four touchdown passes. Our wedding party managed to catch a few minutes of the game after mass and the gang had fun later that evening dressing up my bride and I in football gear.

Every anniversary several people will wish me happy anniversary and then ask what year I got married. I almost always reply "September 30th, 1995. The same day Ohio State played Notre Dame for the first time in 60 years." In hindsight, it's a day most people in Ohio will never forget!

I don't remember why I'm wearing the Notre Dame hat,
but I do remember the Buckeyes beat the Irish 45-26

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