Fat, Drunk and Stupid will be running Saturday in the Akron Marathon.
So will some band teachers made resilient by wild students, runners trying to escape a mythological monster and a team of fertile fathers.
At least, that’s suggested by some of the colorful names registered for the Akron Marathon Team Relay.
While about half of the runners at Saturday’s big race will be running the full or half marathon, the rest are fun-loving folks who will share the 26.2-mile course with teammates.
So what are the stories behind their fanciful names?
We asked a few ...
• Their team is called the “Fast Akron Relay Team.”
But they only use the acronym. (Yeah. That’s F.A.R.T.)
And no, they aren’t giggling frat boys. This team of 30-somethings is Bob Aber, Sandro Galindo and Paul Weinzimmer of Cleveland, Erica Aber of Cleveland Heights and Emily Rohm of Westlake.
“We chose the name last year solely to generate comments and/or interest from fellow runners and journalists like you. It took two years but the plan worked!” a proud Bob Aber said.
On the respectable side, they are a not-for-profit executive, investment adviser, social media consultant, community college employee and ice cream shop owner.
“Some of us run more than the others,” Aber said, but the format of the Akron team relay “makes it easy to involve runners that are at different running levels.”
That’s all he gets out before the frat boy sensibility takes over again: “We’re not running for any special reason other than I was told that there is beer at the end of the race.”
• The relay team name “Nothing Scares Me, I Teach High School Band” didn’t leave a whole lot to the imagination.
“Some other names we were thinking of included ‘Band on the Run,’ ‘Here Comes Treble,’ and ‘Acme Thunderers,’ said Patti Wnoroski of Green. But the name they settled on “was the one that stuck and seemed to fit the best.”
Wnoroski, who is running two legs of the five-leg relay, will be joined by fellow band teachers Kyle Krstolic of Akron, Brandon DuVall of Stow and Jason Branch of Mayfield Heights.
“This is the first year we have participated as a team,” Wnoroski said.
“Each of us enjoys being active, and we thought it would be fun to have a relay team made up entirely of band directors.”
Time nearly runs out
• A team that almost didn’t happen was “Better Late Than Never.”
“We had trouble getting our team together this year,” said captain Rhonda Beasley of Green. When two team members found out they would be out of town on race day, a panicked Beasley started looking for replacements.
“I was very upset because this is my favorite race of the year,” she said.
She eventually recruited her mom, Barbara Brunt of Green, while running mate Matt Schmidt of Cleveland dragged in his friend, Christy Gearo of Cleveland. Their fifth wheel is Nichole Gutshall of Coventry Township.
“We are a diverse group ranging from 35 to 63, professionals to stay-at-home mom, beginning runners to experienced runners, all very excited to participate in this great event,” she said.
• The team “5 Dads, 26 Kids” is made up of five dads with 25 kids.
They just didn’t feel the need to change their long-standing name when they had to swap out a father and lost a child in the transition.
The group of friends and neighbors, all of whose children attended St. Hilary School in Fairlawn, have been running since the first Akron Marathon 11 years ago.
They include Vince Whalen (four kids), Jeff Durkin (four kids), Jim Pianalto (six kids), Paul Horning (nine kids) and Todd Evans (a paltry two children.)
They’re all over 50 and often train together on the weekends, Vince’s wife, Kathy Whalen, explained.
• There’s no oversized primate nibbling a spiritual adviser on this team.
But the name “Bigfoot Bit The Preacher” brings back fond memories of an entertaining vacation drive for the Gaydos family.
It happened on a trip to North Carolina, when there were news reports about Bigfoot being spotted in the local mountains.
“In the report, an eyewitness to the supposed sighting was reporting something along the lines of how ‘Bigfoot bit the preacher!’ ” Liz Gaydos explained. “Which obviously did not really happen but made us laugh and made the car ride seem just a little more entertaining. I mean, who doesn’t like a good Bigfoot or Sasquatch sighting story?”
Gaydos will be joined on the course Saturday by Jenny Gaydos, Katy Kaszar, Courtney Roth and Sarah Goldstein.
Expect them to be very fast.
“Who wouldn’t run faster in a race if Bigfoot was chasing them?” Gaydos said.
Film buffs inspire
• A movie reference is buried in the name of “Family Bonding Part Deux” (a la Hot Shots Part Deux) — a team in its second year. Obviously.
“Two of our members have a super-power ability to have instant recall for random quotes and regularly spout out random movie references so it just seemed fitting,” said Sarah Lange.
She and her husband, Jeff, of Copley are sharing the course with cousins Kevin Hodges and Robert Hodges of New Franklin and Michelle Snyder of Canal Fulton.
While the team of cousins/siblings likes to run as a way of staying close, members also have their personal inspirations.
Snyder runs for her son, who is dependent on a ventilator.
“He has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk, crawl or sit up. There are days when he struggles just to roll over. ... He was fighting every day just to breathe. I had legs and a body that worked, and I needed to stop abusing them,” she said.
After Snyder passes off her first-leg baton during the race, she’ll keep running; she’s also signed up for the full marathon.
• “Fat, Drunk & Stupid” is another movie reference.
It’s the team of Louis Giffels of Green, Natalie and David Giffels and Greg Milo of Akron, and Mike Vale of North Canton, using a name bestowed upon them by a previous running mate who liked the phrase made popular by the movie Animal House.
“I kept the name because, although we have had many different team members over the years, the name still seems to be appropriate for all my friends and family,” said team captain Louis Giffels. “I wonder what that says about me?”
Louis, quite possibly the team clown, said the name also seems appropriate.
“We are running because we are stupid, and also so we can drink more beer and avoid becoming ‘Obese, Drunk & Stupid,’ ” he quipped.
Paula Schleis can be reached at 330-996-3741 or email@example.com.