Dayton, Ohio

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Sunday, September 23, 2013

We'll call this trip a 'do over' or 'vindication', whichever way you would want to look at it. In September of 2012 we traveled to Ohio to run in the Air Force Half Marathon, but when we arrived in Dayton Jill became very ill - so much so she couldn't run the race. So, we returned again in 2013 (even though we 'usually' don't repeat races) so that Jill could cross the finish line that eluded her a year prior.

We left home on Thursday evening after having dinner at Amici, making the drive to Erie, PA. Thursday night we stayed at the Red Roof Inn Erie, right off the exit from I-90 and down the street from the Presque Isle Casino. Rested up, we woke on Friday morning and pressed on to Dayton. Breakfast was at the Panera Bread in Erie, and we stopped at the Potbelly Sandwich Shop near Columbus, Ohio for lunch. Arriving in Dayton, we went straight to the Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University to hit up the Air Force Marathon expo. Race garb and bibs in hand, we made the short drive to the Wingate by Wyndham, located near the main entrance of Wright State University, where we would be staying for the next two nights.

Our Friday night carb up dinner was at the Mamma DiSalvo Risturante, a short jaunt from the hotel. We had some time to kill before 'dinner', so we found a Target nearby and bought a couple of bathing suits which would come in handy post race! Dinner was good and gave us the right amount of carbs for the 26.2 the next day. Back to the hotel after dinner to get ready for the race and some sleep as well.

Saturday morning was an early wake up call for us - 4:50 to be exact. Up, dressed, and out the door we went. We arrived at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base just before 6:00; by the time we were actually parked it was around 6:10. Hung out in the car for a bit, and listened to the rain, before making the trek to the start area (and, by trek, I'm talking a 1.3 mile walk from the car to the start line). Did the Marathon Maniac picture, Jill met a fellow Tough Chik, and then it was time to run!

This course is a good run, with only a couple of 'hills' along the way, a lot of support, and a couple of spots for spectators as well. As much of it is run in and around the Air Force base there were sections where it was desolate and devoid of spectators and people, a fact I didn't mind all that much since I walked fast (with an increasingly slower pace) from about mile 8 or 9 when my calves started to cramp again until the finish.

Post race we hung out with Ed Broadnax a bit, watch Linda Bachand cross the finish line, then headed back to the hotel. Showered and changed, and then limped next door to the El Rancho Grande Mexican Restaurant for some eats and an ice cold pitcher of beer. Stopped at a Meijer after dinner and grabbed some cupcakes and beer, then back to the hotel. Took a dip in the hot tub before retiring (crashing out) in the room.

Sunday morning we were (justifiably) moving a bit slow - LOL. Checked out of the hotel and found a Panera nearby for a quick bite before starting the long drive home. Stopped in Mentor, Ohio for lunch along the way at Melt Bar and Grilled, a great spot for beer and the largest menu of grilled cheese sandwich variants anywhere! We had previously been to the Cleveland Heights location, but the Mentor spot was literally less than a mile off of I-90 and in our path of travel. Jill had the mushroom melt which included garlic mushrooms, balsamic fig jam, arugula, and provolone, with a couple of Southern Tier Pumking's to wash it down (yummy!), and I had The Dude Abides, which was homemade meatballs, fried mozzarella wedges, rich marinara, provolone & romano, a Southern Tier Pumking and a Melt Light to wash it down with (yummy as well!!). Finished lunch and drove the rest of the way back home, arriving on Woodlawn Drive around 10:00ish.

Total Mileage: 1,155 Miles

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Page Last Updated: September 23, 2013