Whew!

The Blue Line Beginners have 11 teams for the Sept. 23 Akron Marathon First Energy Team Relay - and we managed it with only three holes still needing to be filled. The marathon staff will work to get us runners for those remaining segments.

If you requested to be on a relay team, you should have received an email from me last night with details about your team and how to register. If you did not receive an email, contact me right away at akronrun@thebeaconjournal.com.

I set deadlines for registering. Because each team is dependent on its members, I wanted to be sure we had committed teammates as well as have time to find replacements if someone had a change of heart. So please take those deadlines seriously.

I tried to take into account all of your requests, and I think I did a fair job with most of them, but this puzzle had its limitations. Our chief goal was to create teams that could complete the course in 6 hours, which is when course support is withdrawn, the roads reopen, and that SAG wagon comes chugging through asking if you need a lift. Using your pace information, I was able to predict about how much time you need to finish your leg and included that in your email. While you're out training this month, keep that goal in mind.

Also, I took into account the difficulty of various relay legs when assigning slower walkers or speedy runners. For instance, the second leg of 6.2 might seem long, but it's also easy. The third leg might seem one of the shorter segments at 5.3, but it has the most hills. And the final 4.9 leg may have that big Garman hill to climb, but most of the rest of that course is a pleasant downhill.

In another week or so, I'll be posting detailed information on every relay leg - from what you'll see, to the entertainment, to the fluid stations, to the elevation challenges. I'll also give you guidance as to when you need to be at your relay zone, how to get the shuttle, how to find your way back to the stadium, and more.

In the meantime, the most important thing to do is simply get registered. Each team was assigned a captain, who needs to register by Saturday. I assigned you all temporary team names that you can use, or replace. Just let me know your new team name if you change it. Once your captain and team name are registered, the other members will need to register by Tuesday.

Four of our BLB teams formed themselves. Speaking to them: If you haven't actually registered yet, here are instructions from the Akron Marathon, which I shared in last night's email to the other teams:

Relay Registration Instructions:
Designate a team captain. Each team must have a team captain who is participating.
The team captain must register themselves online click “Register Now" button.
Team Captains will select “Team Captains CREATE Your Team”
Team Captains you will complete the participant information first then under “team information” select “create a team” and follow registration prompts you will create the team name under this option. Make Sure to put BLB before your team name so we can keep track.
Enter your $5 off coupon code BLB17 in the coupon section on the payment page and click apply.
Once the Team Captain has created the team the team members can register online click “Register Now".
Team Members will select “Team Members Join Your Team”. You will complete the participant information first then under “team information” select “join a team” and follow registration prompts.
Enter your coupon code BLB17 in the coupon section on the payment page and click apply.

Good luck to all of our relay teams!

-- Paula