Planning to run a marathon, 26.2 miles, without training may be perceived as insane by most, however, with the adoption of a baby girl in December 2007, Greg Itoh was without time as many newbie parents would understand, to train for the highly longed feat of running a marathon without walking. Itoh previously ran the 2007 Portland Marathon with 30 days of training and walled-out at 16 miles, walking the remaining of the run. Two weeks later Itoh attempted again to complete the Olympian Halloween marathon and failed as a result of a hamstring pull at the 10 mile mark resulting in 3.1 miles of limp-running to complete the half-marathon.
Without running since the October run, the Eugene Marathon approached undesirably quick, and Itoh was faced with the dilemma whether he would register for the run.
On Saturday, one day prior to the race, Greg Itoh thought of Pheidippides, the Athenian, who ran from Marathon to Athens to report victory at the Battle of Marathon August 12th 490BC. Pheidippides was his motivation to attempt the run, being mindful that he would resort to the half-marathon in case his body failed him.
His decision is revealed by the medal that was bestowed around his neck, and Greg contends that he ran without walking. Prayer and two individuals kept him alive and well during the run without incidence. At the 10 mile marker, without a Honey Bucket in sight, he was welcomed into a Eugene residence, who answered the door anticipating his need as they chanted to and fro their restroom with, “Go Marathon Runner, Go!” At the 20 mile marker, Itoh pulled his hamstring resulting in a ball and chain drag affair that he thought would end his run. Itoh pulled his heel to his buttocks hoping for relief and was stabbed with an intense Charlie-Horse that caused him to fall to the ground. A kind lady runner offered him Tiger Balm, which miraculously opened up the muscle and allowed Itoh to stride for the remaining of the race.
Having participated in previous marathons, Itoh did have the benefit of knowing how he would prepare for the race to avoid injury and maintain his energy levels during the race. Below are a few tips that worked well for him:
1. Application of Vaseline under arm pits, between thighs and butt cheeks to prevent chaffing
2. Application of Bandaid Blister Block on the bottoms of the feet in conjunction of wearing non-cotton polyester socks to prevent blistering.
3. An hour of stretching prior to the race
4. Losing weight (trimming 10 lbs) prior to the race relieving excess unneeded body weight and eating a light dinner to maintain the low poundage
5. Carbbing before and during the race at 6-7 mile increments rather than over-eating the night before. Two Premier Costco Protein bars before the race and one at every 6-7 mile marker.
6. Drinking water and glucose at every fuel-up station
Despite the long 5 hour 21 minute race time, Itoh accomplished what Pheidippides achieved, fortunately not perishing.
With plenty of cheer, music, and the camaraderie of thousands of runners, plus the Awesome Scenery, Itoh is adamant that the Eugene Marathon is the best marathon of the three in which he participated.