Among the negativity I’ve found some awesome reasons why you should love the Cleveland Marathon Course

After weeks of waiting we finally have an idea what the Cleveland Marathon Course will be like and I have never been more excited!!!! I’m hoping to go drive the course this weekend (or parts of it at least) and scope out any hills that I’m not aware of. Off the top of my head it looks very flat and that has me thrilled. I’ll be sure to let you know what I think and hopefully take some pictures of the course.

Every year I wonder why we don’t run farther into the west end of Cleveland because there are so many amazing spectators there. This year we are doing just that! It’s like the people at Cleveland Marathon are giving us exactly what we have been asking for! Oh wait, Cleveland Marathon sent out a survey asking us what we wanted in the course.  They asked, we answered and they listened! We get to run a large portion of the race through the section of Cleveland with overwhelming crowd support!

Love this!

Love this!

Another great thing with the out and back course is that your family and friends can see you twice without having to move or travel throughout the city! They can set up to cookout or picnic at Lakewood Park and have an after party waiting for you when you finish the race. They can also set up at Edgewater and watch you run the shoreway. That’s right; once again we get to run on the shoreway.  I always love this because this is the only time of the year you can run on the freeway. It’s the little things like that that make me feel like a rebel.

Hello 20,000 friends!

Hello 20,000 friends!

One more thing I love is that you will be able to see runners on your way out and back on this course. Depending on where you are in the race you might be able to see the leaders on the course, or you might see your friends who are either ahead of you or behind you. I love being able to see all my friends and family who are running the race while I am running the race too!

However, I’m a little surprised by a few negative comments I have seen about the course. The Cleveland Marathon sent out a survey and asked what we as runners wanted in our course this year. I loved that they did that.  The Cleveland Marathon truly cares for its participants and they always think of runners first. I think people fail to see that because they are complaining about every little thing they can. (It’s Cleveland, it’s what we do apparently) However, they asked us runners what we wanted in our course and did their best to make as many of us as possible happy.  Marathoners are a tough breed, so a complaint about small things like “the final 2 miles will be boring” really surprises me.

Take the ever-famous Boston Marathon course. If you were to run that course without any spectators it would absolutely suck. It’s super hilly and hard on the body, but the amount of spectators that show up for that race would blow you away. The whole city shuts down and comes out to watch this annual race. The spectators are definitely a big part in making that race enjoyable.

Last spring I ran the Athens Marathon and it will go down in history as the most boring race I’ve ever run. You literally go out and back on the course and there are maybe 10 spectators the entire course. You don’t know a boring course until you’ve done this one.

Literally running by myself the entire race!

Literally running by myself the entire race!

If you have negativity towards the new race course because it doesn’t go on the east side this year then maybe the problem lies in this divider line of east vs. west that we have. Maybe the issue is with the founders of Cleveland who made the interesting things to see on the east side so far from downtown Cleveland.

I was born and raised on the east side of Cleveland and didn’t move to the west side until my mid 20s. All of my family and 90% of my friends still live on the east side. I like to think I have an unbiased opinion since I have lived on both sides of downtown. When it comes down to planning this race I would easily have the course go through the west side because it is so flat, has great crowd support and showcases local areas so close to downtown.

With 11 marathons under my belt, I’ve participated in some of the top big marathons and some tiny local marathons. I’ve ran in freezing temps and extremely hot and humid temps. Runners are a tough group and we run these races for fun. Let’s remember that when we toe the line on May 18th with 20,000 other runners.

Disclosure: While I am an official blogger for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon the thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I would participate in the Cleveland Marathon whether I am a blogger or not. I participate because I love Cleveland, I love running and I love the hard work that goes into this race.

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About Jessica M.

30 something runner from Cleveland, OH. I am an avid runner, marathon maniac and Boston Marathoner. I have completed 12 marathons and am an Offficial Blogger for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.I am also a Proud ambassador for Nuun I enjoy traveling, running, my Croatian heritage Hokas, baking, plaing tambura, reading, sno cones, anything pumpkin flavored, swedish fish, Kinder chocolates, racing, marshmallows, my amazing husband and our puppy Bodhi. Contact me at: MojaMala2blog@gmail.com
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6 Responses to Among the negativity I’ve found some awesome reasons why you should love the Cleveland Marathon Course

  1. Susan says:

    I think you bring up really good points. I know a lot of runners seem to be on the fence about out and back courses, but being able to see runners and/or friends family more than once is a good thing. And anything that helps with crowd support is a plus. I know as a spectator, with the Akron Marathon, I feel bad for all those areas that are deadzones.

  2. I agree with Susan, you make a lot of great points! I don’t know much about the pros and cons of an out-and-back course, but I can imagine having so many spectators will just make it so fun & exciting! Plus, I just think the negativity is a waste. Just enjoy the race! I’m excited to hopefully be in the spectator crowd after I’m done with the 10K since it’s coming to my neck of the woods!

  3. Holly says:

    Thanks for posting the route. I hadn’t seen it yet and was curious what part of Rocky River it would go through. I have not run the marathon but my only reaction to the change was that I wondered if moving the course more west was a negative for the city. I know there were some “rough” parts of the east side on the course but I thought that was good to help promote all parts of the city including the inner areas. I worry that being only on the west will not promote the growth that is needed in some areas. That being said who knows how long the change will be in effect or if they might change it again in the future. So for now I think we just focus on the here and now.

  4. Pingback: Cleveland Marathon Training Week 5: Sore Heels | The Tambura Runner

  5. I wish they had this course last year when I ran it! Maybe I’ll come back one year and see if I can better my time from last year!

  6. Adrienne says:

    I am so excited for the course, I am a west sider so when I saw that they added more of the west side to the course I was ecstatic. This is my first year running the Cleveland Marathon (1/2) and I am beyond excited! I agree with you on the whole Clevelanders complaining thing, I guess its what we do. But not I! I am excited and am glad to see you are too!

    see ADRIENNE run

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