Saturday's Goodyear 10k race is going to be an interesting one for many reasons, not the least being that we'll be making our way to the starting line while it's still dark outside. The race starts promptly at 6:30 a.m. - three minutes before sunrise!
Given that organizers are encouraging us to be well on our way to finding a parking spot by 5 a.m., we may be stumbling in the dark a bit trying to find each other. With a little guidance from the Akron Marathon staff, we've decided the best place for Blue Line Beginners to meet before the race is outside the test track, in the grassy strip, on the east side of Seiberling Street. See the satellite map with this post for roughly where we will start gathering around 5:30 a.m.
If you did the trial run with us recently, we'll be parking in the same deck on Innovation Way, but don't try to drive there the same way as before. Innovation Way is part of the course and the road will be closed. Instead, follow the directions below.
If you are coming from the east: Take I-76 west to exit 26 for E. Market St./OH 18 towrd OH 241/Mogadore Road. Then take a slight right onto OH 18/Market Street. Turn left onto S. Seiberling St.
If you are coming from the north or west: Take I-76 east to exit 25B toward General St./Brittain Rod. Continue straight onto Englewood Ave., then turn right onto S. Seiberling St.
If you are coming from the south: Take I-77 north and merge onto I-76 east. Exit 25B toward General St./Brittain Rod. Continue straight onto Englewood Ave., then turn right onto S. Seiberling St.
In all cases, once you are on Seiberling, you will find parking attendants guiding you to the available parking.
Once you are parked, make your way south to the oval and then beyond that to the test track. (If you step out of the parking deck onto Innovation Way, you will turn left onto the sidewalk.) There should be a crowd to follow. This is about a quarter-mile walk from the parking deck and just under a mile from the auxiliary lots, so another reason to make sure you get there early.
The dawn start was scheduled to get us in and out before the heat of the day arrives. For those of you who aren't early risers by nature, let me repeat advice I shared as we prepared for the 8k in June: Sleep is not so important the night before a race. Adrenalin will carry you through and you can take a nice long nap when you get home. More important is the sleep you get on Thursday night, so make plans for that evening that allow for a good long rest.