Photos by OHventures
It has officially been the wettest summer on record so far for Ohio. This factoid does not bode well if you are one who enjoys running, biking, swimming, hiking, or doing basically anything outdoors. But when you've paid top dollar to run in one of the most anticipated events in Akron, you show up no matter what the conditions!
A weather advisory was issued for the day of the Thirsty Dog 8K & 1 Mile (Saturday, June 27) calling for severe thunderstorms. My drive up to InfoCision Stadium on the campus of the University of Akron was slow & cautious, with legitimate fear that the roads would flood. But at this point, I was committed!
This race was the first event in the first year of the Akron Marathon's Rubber City Race Series leading up to the main event in the fall. It was presented by the popular local craft brewery, Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, which is one of my favorite places to go in the A-K-Rowdy. Because of their sponsorship, a miniature beer festival was taking place at the finish line. Definitely motivation to make it through the rainy run!
(SIDE NOTE: I am sensing a theme to my recent races: Ultimate Beer Run, AkRun & Crawl, and now this...is it time for an intervention?).
All of the precipitation ended up adding to the fun of the 8K race! I had a poncho on to avoid getting totally soaked. It was pretty effective, actually. But there was no avoiding the rain. Hands down, this was the wettest run I have done. And, I have to say: I highly recommend it! With all of the themed runs out there where you get slathered in something (like mud, paint, or foam), a "rain run" should be the next big thing! After all, when we were kids, what was more fun than playing in the rain?!
The route started on Union Street at InfoCision Stadium, going straight onto Brown Street, turning left onto Thornton, and a quick left onto Spicer. Then, a left onto Buchtel, right onto College, left onto Mill, left onto Main, left onto Bartges, and left onto Broadway. Then, you turn right onto Arc, wrapping around onto Wolf Ledges and Carroll. It ends with a final wraparound of the InfoCision Stadium, running onto Summa Field!
Now for the fun part. 25 varieties of Thirsty Dog beer were awaiting! We received finisher medals shaped like the puppy on the Thirsty Dog logo - which doubled as a bottle opener! We also received small beer sampler cups to fill up using our drink tickets. Of course, many people did not want to wait around in the rain for the beer, so me and my pal Karlo ended up with way more tickets than we started out with (people just started handing them out before leaving). This helped us get a nice variety of beers in our bellies!
Karlo, Me, and my Poncho
Thirsty Dog actually created TWO brand new beers specifically for the race. The beers were aptly called Blue Line Ale and Blue Line Lager (named after the iconic blue line of the Akron Marathon). Both beers were light with a great malt balance, perfect for after a race (no one wants a heavy brew after hitting the pavement for 5 miles). They also were serving their own homemade root beer for those 21 & under. Since I had so many tickets, I took a taste!
Other beers offered for tasting included Labrador Lager, Whippet Wheat, Raspberry Ale, and Irish Setter Red. Karlo and I sampled a fair portion of the beers offered on site before we called it quits. The best part is, we got to keep the mini tasting glass as well as a full-sized commemorative beer stein so we can continue on with the festivities at home!