If you've driven through downtown Akron or its surrounding neighborhoods, you've probably noticed the blue line weaving along some of the roads. That colorful ribbon lures runners to the Akron Marathon each September.

This year, I'm going to be following that Blue Line, and so can you. Come join me and photographer Karen Schiely as we all train together for the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. Before you focus too much on the word "marathon," know that one event includes a one-mile course. Others feature an 8k, 10k, a team relay with legs as little as 3.5 miles, and a half marathon. And before you let the word "run" intimidate you, know that some folks walk the entire distance.

Neither Karen nor I have run in an organized race before, so we are looking for more beginners to join us on this summer-long adventure. We'll motivate each other, share tips and strategies, and prepare for the first race coming up in June. We've got 12 weeks to get ready!

So are you ready? Send an email to pschleis@thebeaconjournal.com with your name, age, hometown and tell me a little about yourself. Then join us at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 at Firestone Metro Park for our first group outing. Karen and I also want this blog to be a daily resource for you, so stop in here often.

No excuses. We've got this!

- Paula