Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gold Jacket 5K Recap

Photos by OHventures

We're pretty luck to have the iconic Pro Football Hall of Fame right here in Ohio. After all, football is one of America's greatest sports of all time. So, it's pretty great that since 2014, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has teamed up to celebrate another one of America's greatest sports: running!

For the past two years, I have tackled (no pun intended) the Pro Football Hall of Fame Half Marathon (check out the recaps from 2014 and 2015), but this year, not having ample training time for 13.1 miles, I opted to run in one of the newest events: the Gold Jacket 5K, which takes place the day before the marathon and half marathon, right in Canton.   

Not only does the Gold Jacket 5K take place in Canton (the home of the Pro Football HOF), but the goal is to eventually also hold a Gold Jacket 5K event in each of the 32 cities that are homes to NFL teams! This includes Cleveland and Cincinnati in Ohio, for the Browns and Bengals, respectively. There are also events planned for Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Chicago (see the event calendar here), and former races in Detroit and Buffalo.

Matt and I met Captain American himself at the finish line!

My friend Matt and I took on the Canton course on Saturday, April 23 (a rainy, gray, COLD morning). The course started and ended at Don Scott Field (located next to the Hall of Fame), making a loop from Helen Place to Harrison Avenue to 4th Street to Broad Avenue (see a fellow runner's Garmin map of the course here). It was a relatively flat course, which I was rather fond of!

I really enjoyed the final portion of the course, which allowed you to run around the Don Scott Field track to the finish line, where you got to high five Gold Jacket recipient, Marcus Allen, Pro Football HOF inductee who formerly played in the NFL as running back for the Los Angeles Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. It's awesome that at every Gold Jacket 5K, there is a famous football star that gives you a high five at the finish line - a huge perk and incentive to run faster!

And of course, it's all about the bling! The finisher's medal that everyone receives is a GIANT gold ring that is meant to resemble a Superbowl ring, or a Hall of Fame ring! This medal automatically trumps all my others in terms of appearance, and is way heavier than any I have seen or received before! If you too want to join the gold ring club, find an upcoming Gold Jacket 5K near you and start your training!

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