The Devil Running the Blue Line | Part Three

Why Akron | From the #1

photos and words by Claude Christensen


(Note: This is part of a series of stories about the Akron Marathon. To view the first story, click here. To view the second story, click here).

Blair Teal is the 2017 Akron Marathon champ. He won with a time of 2:23:39.

From Charlotte, North Carolina, Blair is an experienced marathon-runner. And he highly recommends the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, even though he’s from out-of-state.

“The race is very well managed,” says Blair. Plus, as an elite runner, the race organizers let him supply his own fluids at aid stations.

Like Verrelle, running is how Blair decompresses. But it’s also more than that.

“Running is a great metaphor for life. You get out of it what you put in it. It teaches you to set goals and follow through. And you can take those lessons you learn through running and apply them to everyday life.”

Blair attributes most of his successes in life to the simple wisdom he’s learned while running.

And it makes sense. There are few challenges as daunting as training for the 26 miles, 385 yards of a marathon.

You just have to commit and follow through.


The Akron Marathon will be held on Saturday, September 29.

For more details, visit


Claude’s not ready to try a new fat-focused diet and run a marathon. He’ll definitely be slurping down running gel on race day.


(featured photo courtesy of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corps and by Bruce Ford)