Design insights & tutorials.

Cleveland’s Marathon, Go Media’s Design, Bill’s experience

Vector Girl on a motorcycle

Cleveland’s Marathon

This past spring I participated in the Cleveland Marathon. It was a lifelong goal of mine; to run a marathon. Being the designer that I am I couldn’t help but notice the design on the give-away t-shirts (which were actually very nice synthetic-fiber jogging shirts.) In my opinion the design could use a little help. My first thought was: “Go Media can do better than that!” I also believe that you shouldn’t complain about something unless you’re also going to offer a solution.

The solution was obvious: Go Media needed to get involved with the Cleveland Marathon! We needed to do our best to improve the designs of their t-shirts. So, a few months ago we contacted Jack Staph, Executive Director of the Cleveland Marathon. Our goal was simple: use our design skills to help enhance the Cleveland Marathon race apparel (and marketing materials). Jack graciously put us into contact with Bob Zajac and Leigh Greenfelder of Highland PR; the company that handles all the marketing and design for the race. After a few short meetings Jack and Highland PR agreed to add Go Media Inc. to their team for the 2009 Race!

You might think we have all the time in the world to work on these designs since the race isn’t until spring 2009. But the fact was that the marketing materials and ads were already hitting the streets! Large events like this usually take an entire year to organize. Much like any other industry – what you experience in any given year was probably produced a year, two or even three years earlier. I’ve heard Apple has a FIVE YEAR lead time on their products!

The theme for the 2009 Cleveland Marathon is: “The Cleveland Experience.” As Cleveland is the rock ’n’ roll capital of the world – Highland PR and Jack thought they would play off of the “Jimi Hendrix Experience” for a psychedelic rock ’n’ roll design motif. This was an idea that had already been decided by the time Go Media got involved. We are hoping to make it a success and carry it through for the next couple of years.

Vector Girl on a motorcycle (*this logo was not our design)

This project presented us with a number of challenges. First, we have some design restrictions placed upon us by the main sponsor: Rite Aid. We are obviously VERY grateful to Rite Aid for sponsoring this event, but they have already decided on a logo and we are required to use it. Also, since marketing materials are already in place – we need to work with as many of the current design elements as possible. Or, at least, we need to make sure our designs fit with the current look. Finally, race apparel needs to breath. A classic plastisol ink doesn’t breath. If we made a race shirt that had a full coverage of plastisol ink – the runners would quickly overheat. To combat this we have three possible solutions: 1. We could keep the designs light (lots of thin whispy lines), 2. We could use dye sublimated printing, or 3. We could use discharge inks. For these first couple of designs I think we were definitely leaning toward alternative inks.

Go Media’s Design

The first two designs we did for them were just like ad mats – just designs with no real use, just to get a sense of style. Here is what we did:
Vector Girl on a motorcycle
Vector Girl on a motorcycle

Following these designs here is our first round of t-shirt designs intended to be used as give-aways:

Cleveland Marathon T-shirt design
Cleveland Marathon T-shirt design
Cleveland Marathon T-shirt design
Cleveland Marathon T-shirt design

After some feedback (we needed to stick closer to their existing marketing materials) here are the latest designs:

Cleveland Marathon T-shirt design
Cleveland Marathon T-shirt design
Cleveland Marathon T-shirt design

I’m sure there is a third round and some sample printing yet to come. I will post another article when we’re done with this project so you can see how it turns out!

Bill’s Experience

My original interest in working with the Cleveland Marathon stemmed from the fact that I am a regular runner and have participated in many Cleveland Marathons. This past spring (2008) was the very first time I ran the full marathon. In the past I would only run the 10K or half marathon.

It was exhilarating, it was pain, it was my marathon experience.
For those of you who would like to know how it FELT to run a marathon, here is my experience:

The training:
I had planned on training for two and a half months prior to the race. I did a little research and scheduled weekly incremental increases in my running distance. I was running 3-4 times a week. There were two short runs, one medium run and one long run each week. The first week of training looked something like this: Monday 1 mile, Wednesday 2 miles, Friday 1 mile, Sunday 4 Miles. Mid way through the training my week looked something like this: Monday 4 miles, Wednesday 6 miles, Friday 4 miles, Sunday 12 miles. The Sundays were supposed to keep increasing up to 20 miles. Unfortunately I suffered some injuries just as the distances were getting long. 6 weeks prior to the race I ran my furthest distance in training – 11 miles. The next time I ran I had some sharp pain in my Left knee and an aching pain in my right shin, I only ran 6 miles. After several more failed attempts to run I made the decision that I needed to let myself rest. I stopped running for two weeks. This was very bad because these were the MOST IMPORTANT weeks of training. The distances were finally getting long – and I basically skipped them. Three weeks prior to the race I was able to start training again – but I only had one week to really train, because you have to rest the last two weeks prior to the event. When I did go out and run during this week – I felt extremely tired. It was really hard to run. Those two weeks off had ruined my conditioning.
Needless to say, I was absolutely NOT prepared for this marathon. I actually felt LESS prepared than I was for last year’s half-marathon. My expectations were extremely low. My goal at this point was to simply complete the first half – then just see how I felt for the second half. I didn’t want to injure myself. I wasn’t sure how far I would be able to run. I decided that I would just start walking when I was in bad pain. I assumed that this would be most of the second half of the race.
Bill's Cleveland Marathon experience
The Race
Race day was cold, windy and rainy – which was PERFECT. I’m typically over-heating when I run, so this was fantastic for me. The race started at 7am. I had planned on running fairly slow early on – to mentally and physically keep myself strong for the later miles. Over the first 6.2 miles (10k) I averaged 9.5 minutes per mile with a time of 59:03. This is a little better than average for me. I normally run 10 minute miles. At the half-marathon mark (13.1 miles) my time was 2:06:52. So, I had averaged 9.61minutes per mile at the half way mark. I was very happy with this time. At last year’s half-marathon my time was 2:08:54, so I had shaved 2 minutes off my time. Also, this first half of the marathon felt MUCH easier than the half marathon felt last year. I really felt strong, pain free and was cruising really well at the half-way point.
Bill's Cleveland Marathon experience
When I hit about mile 12 the course splits. The half-marathoners go Left to the finish and the marathoners go Right. This was actually a very deflating moment. For one, I knew how much further I had to run – but more upsetting was the sudden thinning of the crowd. Three-quarters of the runners were only doing the half-marathon. So, one minute you’re surrounded by lots of people – the next, you’re alone. The added emotional lift of being surrounded by runners cannot be described. It helps a ton. Now my co-runners were gone. I had no emotional support. I was all alone.
Just then, the sun came out. This might seem like a good thing, but it wasn’t. I was running INTO the sun and the roads were wet and reflecting the light right into my eyes. Plus, as I mentioned before – my biggest problem is heat. The sun normally spells disaster. I over-heat, feel drained and lose the ability to run. BUT – I did keep running, at least most of the way through mile 18. The sun was only annoying, the air was plenty cold to keep me from over-heating. At the 30K mark (18.6 miles) my time was 3:09:05. At this point I was still averaging 10.16 minutes per mile – which is my average. But I was also getting really tired. Miles 16-20 I was starting to walk-jog. I would jog 5 minutes, walk 5 minutes, jog 5 minutes, on and off depending how I felt.
Bill's Cleveland Marathon experience
After mile 19 things started to go wrong – and fast. Tendons in the back of my Left knee started to hurt, my right shin started to ache and every muscle in my body below my waist started to cramp. It felt as though all my muscles were trying to contract at the same time. At about mile 19 we reached the lake Erie shoreline for the last stretch back into downtown. It was a beautiful view, but now the cold weather was too cold. The wind was whipping hard and cold off the lake. It was freezing me. My cramping muscles were now freezing cold and becoming non-responsive to my attempts to keep them moving. At this point I stopped running. Every time I tried to run a charlie-horses would cramp suddenly in my calves. I would stop to stretch regularly but it did little good. The lactic acid in my legs was burning with every step. I was frustrated to be walking, but at this point my body was not cooperating with me. I kept thinking about people who survive ship wrecks and have to tread water in the ocean for days. I don’t think I could do that – not if the water is cold. But fortunately I was on land. I could breath, and all I had to do was keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I got back into downtown at about mile 23. These last 3.2 miles were somewhat surreal. I was feeling very strange to say the least. I felt like I was on a vision quest. I wasn’t sure if I was feeling elated or about to drop dead. Getting off the lake helped me warm up and I was able to resume a little running. It was nothing dramatic. I could shuffle my feet trying to point my toes up so I didn’t cramp my calves. Also, there were official Cleveland Marathon camera men that I made sure I was running for. History is what we make it – right?
Bill's Cleveland Marathon experience
I made sure to run the final quarter mile. My finishing time for the full 26.2 miles was 5:03:11. Obviously, I lost a TON of time the final quarter of the marathon. My average for the entire race was 11 minutes, 34 seconds per mile. Still not too shabby – and overall, considering I cut my training short, I was absolutely surprised that I did so well the first 18 miles.

Post-Race
My dad and uncle were there to greet me at the finish. This really made me feel emotionally good. But I was feeling physically sick and freezing. To make things worse, our car was parked a mile away. So, I walked one more mile – in pain all the way. I then spent the rest of the day in my bed.

Despite the pain and suffering I plan on doing it again. I wonder what the experience would be if I had completed my training properly. That will be my goal for 2009.

But I’m alive and I have a nice shiny medal to prove that I’ve accomplished what less than one percent of the population ever do; I completed a marathon.

About the Author, William Beachy

I grew up in Cleveland Hts. Ohio and was drawing constantly. As a child I took art classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art and eventually became known as the "class artist." I graduated from The Ohio State University's department of Industrial Design. I have always tried to blend my passion for illustration with Graphic Design. Go Media was the culmination of my interests for both business and art. I'm trying to build a company that is equally considerate of our designers AND our clients.
Discover More by William Beachy

Discussion

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  • http://www.bladegraphics.com Richard

    congratulations! that’s a great accomplishment. Sweet designs too!

  • http://www.bladegraphics.com Richard

    congratulations! that’s a great accomplishment. Sweet designs too!

  • http://www.johntwang.com John Wang

    Bill, great job running the marathon and completing that goal off your list of things to do in life. Running a marathon is also a goal of mine and I’ll be doing that in 10 days! I can’t wait to do it and complete it. Very excited about it.

    As for the designs you made, they’re great. Now, I’m wondering what the Honolulu Marathon ones are going to look like. Great idea!

  • http://www.johntwang.com John Wang

    Bill, great job running the marathon and completing that goal off your list of things to do in life. Running a marathon is also a goal of mine and I’ll be doing that in 10 days! I can’t wait to do it and complete it. Very excited about it.

    As for the designs you made, they’re great. Now, I’m wondering what the Honolulu Marathon ones are going to look like. Great idea!

  • Simon H.

    Whoa, nice performance :-)
    And the concepts are nice !

  • Tom Faraci

    That’s impressive, and definitely something to brag about. I know I would be. So, suppose I’m now interested in the Cleveland Marathon… would you reccomend it to someone who doesn’t run regularly? I think it would be a great motivator to start training and thus getting in shape.

  • Tom Faraci

    That’s impressive, and definitely something to brag about. I know I would be. So, suppose I’m now interested in the Cleveland Marathon… would you reccomend it to someone who doesn’t run regularly? I think it would be a great motivator to start training and thus getting in shape.

  • http://www.chrisobriendesign.com Chris OB

    Bill, what an inspiring post. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon but never committed to it. There is one held every year here on Cape Cod, and from what I hear, it’s a great course. Maybe I’ll start with the Falmouth Road Race, since it’s only 7 miles.

  • http://www.chrisobriendesign.com Chris OB

    Bill, what an inspiring post. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon but never committed to it. There is one held every year here on Cape Cod, and from what I hear, it’s a great course. Maybe I’ll start with the Falmouth Road Race, since it’s only 7 miles.

  • http://sabasdesign.com msabas

    Great design work, but Even better tha fact that you got out there and trained hard for your run. Great job and keep up the great work.

  • http://sabasdesign.com msabas

    Great design work, but Even better tha fact that you got out there and trained hard for your run. Great job and keep up the great work.

  • http://www.unikink.com UnikInk.com

    Nice designs. The designs printed over the sleeves will be very difficult to print though. Near impossible to screen print that many colors and halftones all over (especially on long sleeve), and dye sub will leave unprinted areas from folds that occur. How many are they producing? They may be able to cut and sew if the numbers are big enough. Awesome concepts though. Good job.

  • http://www.unikink.com UnikInk.com

    Nice designs. The designs printed over the sleeves will be very difficult to print though. Near impossible to screen print that many colors and halftones all over (especially on long sleeve), and dye sub will leave unprinted areas from folds that occur. How many are they producing? They may be able to cut and sew if the numbers are big enough. Awesome concepts though. Good job.

  • http://www.battlemedialab.com Joe

    damn bill! you’re an animal! :D The designs look sick.

  • http://www.battlemedialab.com Joe

    damn bill! you’re an animal! :D The designs look sick.

  • http://www.gomedia.us Bill

    @ Tom

    If you are anything like me – you need a goal to help motivate yourself to exercise. In this regard, yes, I HIGHLY recommend a marathon to an occasional runner. But you will have to train. 3 months of preparation is a good starting point.

    @UnInkInk

    Yes… these designs will be a B!tch to print. It’s so much easier just to mock it up! But we do have quantity on our side… 3,000 shirts at least. And – the shirts will actually only be short sleeve. This will help. Any advice you have would be great. I’m not a printing expert.

    @joe Yes, I am an animal. (you have no idea… under that shirt I look like a wendigo)

  • http://www.gomedia.us Bill

    @ Tom

    If you are anything like me – you need a goal to help motivate yourself to exercise. In this regard, yes, I HIGHLY recommend a marathon to an occasional runner. But you will have to train. 3 months of preparation is a good starting point.

    @UnInkInk

    Yes… these designs will be a B!tch to print. It’s so much easier just to mock it up! But we do have quantity on our side… 3,000 shirts at least. And – the shirts will actually only be short sleeve. This will help. Any advice you have would be great. I’m not a printing expert.

    @joe Yes, I am an animal. (you have no idea… under that shirt I look like a wendigo)

  • Simon H.

    Whoa, nice performance :-)
    And the concepts are nice !

  • AndRu

    Amazing designs!, i love it!, really nice work!.
    It’s really rushing my eyes!, i just love it.

  • AndRu

    Amazing designs!, i love it!, really nice work!.
    It’s really rushing my eyes!, i just love it.

  • http://www.spgrafiks.com Simona

    My kudos to you…..
    I love jogging, but a marathon, that takes determination.

    And the designs are sick. My fav is the purple long sleeve one…

  • http://www.spgrafiks.com Simona

    My kudos to you…..
    I love jogging, but a marathon, that takes determination.

    And the designs are sick. My fav is the purple long sleeve one…

  • http://colorburned.com Grant Friedman

    Very cool stuff! I love those designs!

  • http://colorburned.com Grant Friedman

    Very cool stuff! I love those designs!

  • Chris Winch

    Whoa!
    Amazing work!

    I love the footprint shirt!

  • http://svensworld.de sven

    congrats on finishing it! do you plan on checking up your knees to see if you need some kind of treatment? or do you just put them to rest for some time and start again? I had some troubles with my knees from playing basketball and what helped me greatly is to put some suspensory bandages(are those the right words?) over my knees when playing. but I am no doctor :)

  • http://svensworld.de sven

    congrats on finishing it! do you plan on checking up your knees to see if you need some kind of treatment? or do you just put them to rest for some time and start again? I had some troubles with my knees from playing basketball and what helped me greatly is to put some suspensory bandages(are those the right words?) over my knees when playing. but I am no doctor :)

  • http://www.eightvisions.net Michael

    really love the first poster and the second shirt. awesome work!

  • http://www.eightvisions.net Michael

    really love the first poster and the second shirt. awesome work!

  • Chris Winch

    Whoa!
    Amazing work!

    I love the footprint shirt!

  • http://www.gomedia.us Bill

    @Sven

    I don’t do anything for my knees. I know running is very hard on your knees, but I am unaffected for some strange reason. I’ve always had solid knees (knock on wood).

  • http://www.gomedia.us Bill

    @Sven

    I don’t do anything for my knees. I know running is very hard on your knees, but I am unaffected for some strange reason. I’ve always had solid knees (knock on wood).

  • Ruben

    I dig the movement in all the illustrations, it goes with the whole marathon theme. A big congrats on finishing…like you said, not a lot of people can actually say they ran, and finished, a marathon.

  • Ruben

    I dig the movement in all the illustrations, it goes with the whole marathon theme. A big congrats on finishing…like you said, not a lot of people can actually say they ran, and finished, a marathon.

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    Great designs and good job in the race!

  • http://www.geoffmay.com Geoff May

    Great designs and good job in the race!

  • http://www.unikink.com UnikInk.com

    Bill,
    You will find your best prints when there is a completely flat printing surface. WIth screen printing, every seam, fold, etc, that leaves a raised area, makes printing consistent prints over these areas very difficult. The biggest problems are either too little ink being laid down of the fabric, or too much being squeezed out. Companies like Affliction that routinely print like this are fortunate because the style designs they create are very forgiving. Exact ink coverage and color registration are not really an issue with these designs, so if there is inconsistency it is usually not noticeable. That being said, if the t-shirt blank being used for this project has thin seams, it will minimize these problems. If the client is interested in doing cut and sew, the different shirt panels can be printed before the shirt is sewn together, which would completely eliminate the ink coverage problems. It might not be too expensive to have it done domestically, but going overseas would be much less expensive. Plan for 12 weeks+ for overseas production. Hope this helps.

  • http://www.unikink.com UnikInk.com

    Bill,
    You will find your best prints when there is a completely flat printing surface. WIth screen printing, every seam, fold, etc, that leaves a raised area, makes printing consistent prints over these areas very difficult. The biggest problems are either too little ink being laid down of the fabric, or too much being squeezed out. Companies like Affliction that routinely print like this are fortunate because the style designs they create are very forgiving. Exact ink coverage and color registration are not really an issue with these designs, so if there is inconsistency it is usually not noticeable. That being said, if the t-shirt blank being used for this project has thin seams, it will minimize these problems. If the client is interested in doing cut and sew, the different shirt panels can be printed before the shirt is sewn together, which would completely eliminate the ink coverage problems. It might not be too expensive to have it done domestically, but going overseas would be much less expensive. Plan for 12 weeks+ for overseas production. Hope this helps.

  • http://www.wallpaperfree.co.uk wallpapers

    love to know how you make the text look like a runner – is it an effect or just hard work?

  • http://www.wallpaperfree.co.uk wallpapers

    love to know how you make the text look like a runner – is it an effect or just hard work?

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/7417b123f72737d9db39552048a3ecea?s=80 Number 2

    Nice designs and awesome determination to finish that race up! How are your legs doing now? Did you suffer any long term injuries?

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/7417b123f72737d9db39552048a3ecea?s=80 Number 2

    Nice designs and awesome determination to finish that race up! How are your legs doing now? Did you suffer any long term injuries?

  • VRizo

    @ the first gomedia design: jerry seinfeld was running the marathon too?
    [i love the concept but honestly the face is scary]

    if any of these don’t get approved… stick it in the merch section! i’d buy the header’s design in an instant.

    oh and bill, come down to Austin for the Austin Marathon :P

  • VRizo

    @ the first gomedia design: jerry seinfeld was running the marathon too?
    [i love the concept but honestly the face is scary]

    if any of these don’t get approved… stick it in the merch section! i’d buy the header’s design in an instant.

    oh and bill, come down to Austin for the Austin Marathon :P

  • http://chopperdesigns.blogspot.com Chopper|ChopperDesigns

    Good work!

  • http://chopperdesigns.blogspot.com Chopper|ChopperDesigns

    Good work!

  • http://tendou86.blogspot.com/ Takumi86

    dang that was a nice design, if you can make it then you can sold it. Trust me most people will like it

  • http://tendou86.blogspot.com/ Takumi86

    dang that was a nice design, if you can make it then you can sold it. Trust me most people will like it

  • Ty-CssGuy

    Wow, love those T-shirt designs, also the website over there is awesome! I can’t seem to run it through builtwith.com to see if they are using a CMS product to run the website. What do you know about the website Bill, who’s portfolio lovely is this??

  • Ty-CssGuy

    Wow, love those T-shirt designs, also the website over there is awesome! I can’t seem to run it through builtwith.com to see if they are using a CMS product to run the website. What do you know about the website Bill, who’s portfolio lovely is this??

  • Ty-CssGuy

    Looks like it’s something to do with these folks:
    http://www.servee.com/featured_sites/
    Using top secret technologies, I guess since builtwith seems to be down anyways, great stuff!

  • Ty-CssGuy

    Looks like it’s something to do with these folks:
    http://www.servee.com/featured_sites/
    Using top secret technologies, I guess since builtwith seems to be down anyways, great stuff!

  • John

    Awesome designs, but there is no way you are going to print on the sleeves like you have them mocked up. Especially with that many colors.

  • http://www.myspace.com/brasssnatch missbrass

    Wow, the designs are beautiful. Go Media designers are amazing. The first brushes I ever used were from Go Media and after reading the story of this company not only do I love the work, but I highly respect anyone involved with it.

  • http://www.myspace.com/brasssnatch missbrass

    Wow, the designs are beautiful. Go Media designers are amazing. The first brushes I ever used were from Go Media and after reading the story of this company not only do I love the work, but I highly respect anyone involved with it.

  • John

    Awesome designs, but there is no way you are going to print on the sleeves like you have them mocked up. Especially with that many colors.

  • http://www.servee.com Issac Kelly

    Hi! I’m Issac Lead Developer (co-founder) of Servee. I’m glad you found our website!

    The Cleveland Marathon Website was built on top of our Platform (servee.com). It’s managed by friends of ours at Highland PR (as you mentioned).

    I found this mention in our server stats, and if you have any questions about the site, or our platform, let me know (issac (is at) servee (dot) com)

    At Servee, we love designers, and our product is built with web professionals and designers of all levels in mind, and we’re really happy to give designers free sites to try out our CMS.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.servee.com Issac Kelly

    Hi! I’m Issac Lead Developer (co-founder) of Servee. I’m glad you found our website!

    The Cleveland Marathon Website was built on top of our Platform (servee.com). It’s managed by friends of ours at Highland PR (as you mentioned).

    I found this mention in our server stats, and if you have any questions about the site, or our platform, let me know (issac (is at) servee (dot) com)

    At Servee, we love designers, and our product is built with web professionals and designers of all levels in mind, and we’re really happy to give designers free sites to try out our CMS.

    Thanks!

  • salmiler

    Running for life!!!

    Great job running bud and awesome design observation!!!

    Salmiler

    …living our lifestyle on the run, R U ?

  • salmiler

    Running for life!!!

    Great job running bud and awesome design observation!!!

    Salmiler

    …living our lifestyle on the run, R U ?

  • badaabaap

    all the designs are just awesome

  • yukuri

    Great designs – I never saw the final design. Another link?
    I am an illustrator/runner (mattfosterillustration.com) and working on the 2010 Maui Marathon. Who did the color screen comps? Can you steer me towards your process? I would like to get a few of the designs prcented on “colored” shirts this year. Thanks for any guidance.
    Matt Foster
    808) 298-3217

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    I am out of the office on vacation until Monday, October 19th. If your request is urgent please contact our project manager heather@gomedia.us.
    I will be catching up on Monday when I get in, thanks!
    Jeff Finley
    Go Media

  • Dan

    Excellent job..
    dizi izle