It's been a busy month for the Blue Line Beginners, so I thought I'd take a day just to report what's happening on a variety of fronts.

T-SHIRTS: I'm happy to report I received all but possibly one of the BLB T-shirt checks that were originally sent to my abandoned childhood home. (Yes, thanks to this experience, I think I may for the rest of my life be referring to the place where I was raised as my "abandoned childhood home.") We turned in an order for about 90 shirts, and we are still on target to receive them by our Saturday group outing on Sept. 16.

RELAY TEAMS: We have 12 Blue Line Beginner relay teams, and only one spot remains open - a leg vacated by a BLBer who had to withdraw for health reasons. The Akron Marathon filled the three holes we had originally and is now working to find us a fourth runner to complete our last team. So well done, everyone, for forming and registering in a timely manner!

STEERING COMMITTEE: The committee that will brainstorm how to transition the Blue Line Beginners from a Beacon  Journal project to a community running group is meeting Tuesday night. If you have any thoughts or ideas you want to share in advance, send them to me now. I'm sure there will also be opportunities for you to weigh in after the committee comes up with a draft of how we will proceed.

CHILDREN'S CHAMPION: Our own BLBer Jim Merklin was featured in an online story by Children's Hospital for his efforts to use his half marathon run as a fundraiser for the hospital. Check it out at If any other BLBer has established a fundraising page for a charity, feel free to let me know and I'll give it a plug on the blog!

BLB POST-SEASON PICNIC: At our last group outing, we discussed having a party to celebrate the end of the Akron Marathon Race Series season. There appeared to be support for an afternoon picnic (instead of our weekly morning run) on Saturday, Sept. 30. We'll work out the details yet, but save that date on your calendar.

SATURDAY TRIAL RUN: Thank you to Anita Peters' husband, Larry, and Lynn Kline's husband, Roger, who have volunteered to shuttle some runners during this coming Saturday's trial run of the relay. I've decided to do my 12-mile training run on Friday so I can also be free to ferry folks around. See our previous blog post for addresses and maps of where to go Saturday morning, depending on which relay leg you are running. In the meantime, here are some details I wanted to stress:

* LEG 4 RELAY MEMBERS: You are the only ones not starting downtown and as such will not be in a position to ask questions when you arrive. So to be clear about what you are doing: Arrive at Hardesty Park's parking lot (off Wallhaven Circle) by 7:45 a.m. You will be shuttled to the corner of Fairfax and Rampart by Firestone High School to reach the starting point of your 4-mile leg. You will then run or walk your course by 1) Following the Blue Line painted on the street as your guide, or 2) Using the map available on on your Akron Marathon app, or 3) Using the course map from that you have printed out. Finish your course at Hardesty Park where your car is parked, and that will complete your day.

* LEGS 1, 2, 3 and 5, and HALF MARATHONERS: Meet across the street from Canal Park. You will receive further instruction there before beginning your run/walk or before being shuttled to your starting point. However, know that you will be responsible for knowing your route. In most cases you will be able to simply follow the Blue Line on the street, though you can also refer to the course map on the Akron Marathon app, or by printing a course map out in advance at


-- Paula