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Turkey Trot 5 Miler

The Cleveland Turkey Trot is one of those races that since I have started running it, I don’t know if I will ever miss it. Besides the tradition of running this race every year, I love the low stress of the race. It’s always easy to get there and navigate. I also have no chance of even placing in my age group so I just run for me. Competing against myself is my favorite!

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Ryan’s cousin came to run with us too!

Like most races I set a goal for myself and for this one it was 37 minutes. I haven’t had the best year in running but I felt like I had this in my tank, it’s a 7:24 pace.

Mile 1: 7:25 – I did my best to go out at a comfortable pace since I normal go way too fast. My first mile was a 7:25, that’s really not too bad considering how I normally run.

Mile 2: 7:38 – There was a slight uphill starting at the end of mile 1 and going into 2 so it was a little hard to stay on pace.

Mile 3: 7:36 – Getting to mile 3 you had to go up and over a bridge so another hill but I had not really dropped off completely and I actually felt really good. Which is kind of rare at this point in a race for me.

Mile 4: 7:29 – Before I even got to mile 4, I felt so good that I started picking up the pace and thought I was flying. Dare I even say that this is the best that I have ever felt at this point in the race.

Mile 5: 6:27 – Now it might have felt like I ran a 6:27 last mile but I think the last mile was just a bit short. I probably would have gone sub 7 still since I did have the race at 4.95. So the last mile was only short by .05.

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I ended up running a 36:34, a 7:19 pace, kinda crazy how that pace still worked out even if I did have the course short by .05.

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Towpath Half Marathon

When picking out races for the year, I had decided I was going to run the Presque Isle Erie Marathon as my fall full marathon. After some health issues over the summer, I decided it would be best if I picked a different fall marathon instead and decided I would run the Towpath Marathon. The Erie Marathon and Towpath Marathon are only a few weeks apart so I am not sure why I thought this would really make a difference. It should be no surprise that I ended up changing to the Half Marathon as I saw how poorly I was running this year.

However, for this race I went into it knowing that I would likely run very poorly and was hoping that I could go sub 1:50 for this race.

Race morning it was very cold for early October. I ended up wearing shorts and a tank top anyways but it was very chilly.

Exactly like the other half marathon I ran, my pace dropped significantly by the time I got to the 3rd mile. Unlike past races, I didn’t feel completely like I wanted to quit. Maybe I had just come to terms with my new slower paces. Maybe I just really love running on the Towpath.

In the past, I remember more fall colors during this race but there was actually a lot of green left on the trees. It was still really pretty to run through though. I think my only complaint would be that the path gets narrow in a few places and you have to go single file in both directions. For me it really wasn’t frustrating since I knew I wasn’t going to be running a PR and was already off my goal pace.

A lot of people will tell you that it is slower to run on the Towpath. I disagree with this statement, I feel like I run really well on the Towpath…normally. It’s softer on the body than running on asphalt.

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The course is extremely flat and mostly out and backish. On the way back though I felt like it was taking forever to get to the Boston Store. Even with half a mile to go I was like where is it. It pops up so quickly once you get to it but i felt like I couldn’t even hear any spectators up ahead.

I ended up not running my goal time and finished with a time of 1:50:03. Officially hung up the running shoes on long distance races for the year after this one. Don’t get me wrong, I will be back and am still running long now. Just the racing long thing hasn’t been going so well. I did buy a giant bag of kettle corn after the race so I have that going for me.

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Racing has gone extremely well for Ryan and he PR’d in the marathon at this race! Ended up finishing 5th overall.

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Racing in the Cleveland Area in 2014 and My Race Schedule

Cleveland is lucky to have many local races throughout the year. Here are a few places to look for races, in no particular order (if you have a place that isn’t listed please leave it in the comments below, just remember Cleveland area)

Hermes Cleveland-This is one of my favorites, they put on some of the best races in the area in my opinion.

Peace Racing-Dan and his crew are giving Hermes some friendly competition at Peace Racing. They put on about 15 events a year, running and triathlons included.

Summit Athletic Running Club-They put on a few popular races a year, the Shamrock 15K, Buckeye Half Marathon and the Great NYE Race.

HMA Promotions-Putting on over 40 races a year, mostly on the eastside of Cleveland. I ran their Brooklyn Heights on the Run 5K this year and recommend it.

Cleveland West Road Runners-Only 4 races a year but all good ones.

Western Reserve Racing-I find a lot of the website doesn’t work (I like too think they are too busy running to bother) but I’ve been assured they put on good races. Mostly trail races and longer distances but also have the dirty trail series that seems to be popular (I’m not a good trail runner but I have a trail itch lately…)

NCN Racing-They’ve been cutting down on their races lately but still have some good ones on the list.

Direct Atheltics-Now this is really cool! Track & Field events, Cross Country, Swim meets and all available for you to enter as an individual. Thanks RunSwanson!

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Here is the basic layout of my 2014 racing schedule. There will be a few changes as most race companies are still getting things together for the 2014 season, I have yet to find information on The Midtown Classic. I tried to link as many races as I could or at least link to where they will be when the information is available. Also, I have this crazy urge to run a 50K, I have 2 I am looking at for the fall which is why there is no fall marathon yet. Happy Racing!

February
February 15thChili Bowl Classic 5K
February 22nd-38th Annual Spring Thaw. It’s in PA and has 10, 15 or 20 mile option. Planning on this race if the weather hold out.
Snowball Run 5K (possible, if the weather is nice or I really want to race or if I don’t make the race in PA)

March
March 8thGreen Jewel 50K relay! I had planned on running the full 50K but was sidelined with bronchitis for over a month and a half and missed too much training. You can’t rush training for these longer races so I decided to do the relay instead. Very excited about it. Really Really Really Excited because Ryan is doing the relay with me! Team CraftLogo!

Ryan and I after the Athens marathon
Ryan and I after the Athens marathon

March 15thMalachi 5 Miler

Me. Malachi. 2008 (yes I am sporting the shorts over the tights look)
Me. Malachi. 2008 (yes I am sporting the shorts over the tights look)

March 22ndJig & Jog 5K

April
April TBASpring Classic 10 miler
April 26thHermes 10 miler

May
May 4thLakewood Ambulance Chase
May 18thCLEVELAND MARATHON

The Logo
The Logo

June
June 14thNature’s Bin 5K (previously in October)
June TBA(usually the 2nd week)-Park 2 Park Half Marathon

Park 2 Park in 2013
Park 2 Park in 2013

July
July 4thBay Days 5 Miler

August
August 30thNorthcoast 5 miler

September
September 7th=River Run Half Marathon (I’ve missed this race the past 2 years due to injury or asthma so I’m determined to run it again.)
September 21stCleveland Heroes Run 5 miler (Very difficult race, they also have a 2 mile option)

Death march face after just getting up Hogsback Hill
Death march face after just getting up Hogsback Hill

September 27thAkron Half Marathon

New neon pink shirt!
New neon pink shirt!
Finisher Towels??? Seriously? BEST. THING. EVER.
Finisher Towels??? Seriously? BEST. THING. EVER.

October
October 4thStroll & Roll 5K
October 12thTowpath Half Marathon
October 25thHalloween Run for Justice 5 Miler (or 5K) (Previously called the Bench Bar classic)

November
November TBASt. Luke’s 5K
November 27thTurkey Trot 5 Miler

Starting line of the Turkey Trot 2013
Starting line of the Turkey Trot 2013

December
December 6th-A Christmas Story 10k

Other races worth mentioning:

Cupid Undies Run-It’s in February so I will be hiding under layers but this seems like a fun event.

Tackle the Tower-Great stair race benefitting the Ronald McDonald house. I’ve seen firemen in full gear do the 36? floor race. New this year they have a team option so grab your friends!

Sombrero Shuffle-They’ve had this race for a few years now and it always looks like a blast!

Fight Like Mike-Eastside 5K in Downtown Willoughby. Fight Like Mike is a charity committed to lifting the spirits of cancer fighters and their families. I highly recommend checking this local race out! P.S. The Wild Goose is hosting!

Run or Dye-Coming back to Cleveland April 19th, 2014

Medina Half Marathon-I’m in love with the race shirts and medal for this race. Hoping for a speedy recovery after the Cleveland Full so I am tackle this one.

Electric Run– Coming to Cleveland June 20th! “World’s premier nighttime race”

Zombie Run– I’ve always wanted to do one of these but I have a wedding this day. July 12th in Sandusky.

Winking Lizard’s A Shot in the Dark-Classic, night race downtown. There is a 4 mile, 2 mile and a relay option to run. Save the date for July 26th!

Women Who Run-4 mile race in downtown Cleveland

Footprints for Fatima-A good race from HMA promotions at John Carroll

Reindeer Run 5K-December 6th

Jingle Bell Run 5K-December 7th, Benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. Always a well put on race and great end to the racing season.