Market To Market Motivation
Since publishing my first blog post (thank you to everyone for reading and supporting this!) one thing I kept hearing over and over from friends and readers was, “I need this!” Or “maybe this will get me out of my rut!” So many struggle at some point, or many points, to get into or back into a workout routine. I’ve reached a point in my life where I rarely take more than a rest day or two off a week, but I often feel unmotivated or slow to get to a class or out on a run. These are the times when mixing it up helps me enormously. As a runner, sometimes this means finding a new route to run, taking it to a trail or a track, finding a running group, or signing up for a race.So where does your average Cincinnati runner go for their daily dose of endorphines? We have some great spots, and can cover a lot of ground, especially with a running group. We have Hyde Park, the 5 mile loop at Lunken Airport, the Loveland Bike Trail, the hills around Indian Hill and other beautiful neighborhoods to name a few, but, run these enough during your training for a race, and it becomes predictable. Enter the newest route on the block.
The newest race to hit Cincinnati this year is the Market to Market Relay, featured recently in Running Times as one of the best relay races in the country. Teams of 6-8 runners hop in a van while their teammates run anywhere from 8-17 miles, broken up into 2-4 stages per runner. The course starting point begins sun up on Main Street in downtown Milford and finishes 76 miles later in Dayton where runners enjoy an after party with local food and beer vendors at Riverscape Metro Park.
I met with the Ohio M2M race director, Matt McBride, to give me a little history about the event and his team. Matt talked about his personal favorite legs of the race on the carefully selected course, one being at Ft. Ancient and another through Roxanna at Spring Valley, OH. The route looks amazing. I can’t think of many Cincinnatians, myself included, that have run these back roads and trails that are packed with history, cornfields and stunning views. A little easier on the eyes than the views of I-75. Matt has stated that “Ohio has one of the best trail systems in the country.”
The Market to Market Relay Series started in Nebraska 5 years ago with Ben Cohoon, Jason Bakewell and Jared Bakewell and has been such a success that the race has been taken to Iowa, and now to Ohio with Matt McBride heading up the year-long task of planning this unique race. The M2M goal is not to come into Ohio and take over the race scene. In my opinion, it is a wonderful supplement to the fantastic races we already have in Cincinnati. They have given back $11,000-$13,000 to charities in past races and rely heavily on their 250+ volunteers and charity organizations for race day to go smoothly. A beautiful example of a couple of guys who are making a living using their passion and giving back during it all. Talk about motivating and inspiring. The amount of work and cooperation that goes into something like this is incredible.
The race is a colorful one, from what Matt tells me, giving away awards for best costumes, best decorated vehicle, best team name, and an award for predicting your team finish time. Our 6 person team is looking at a little over 11 hours, so wish us luck. It will be rewarding, I’m sure, maybe a little exhausting and interesting in the car with 5 other sweaty runners, but I know it will be memorable, and possibly a tradition!
Runners and non-runners alike can find motivation from a “team.” Your team can be your friends you meet at the gym for a class, your neighbors or office mates who hold you accountable for your diet and exercise, and your friends and family with whom you share your goals. Yes, you have to work and train on your own most times, but we can come together as a team to find our motivation and our stride.