Latest reviews by Mary Lee
I live in the area, so the Cleveland Marathon is a local race for me. The 2014 race fell on my birthday and I just HAD to get a medal with my birth date on it! Plus...love the spinning guitar! All of my family came to town to celebrate and my brother ran the half too. I have a small house, so my family stayed at a hotel in Independence, which is about 15 minutes south of downtown. If are from out of town and don't stay downtown, I highly recommend one of the hotels in Independence for easy access to downtown. This is best if you have access to a car. If you are coming from out of town, I'd recommend staying downtown if you can. Then take the RTA train from the airport straight downtown. No Uber/Taxi needed. Everything is downtown. All of the races (Saturday and Sunday) and the Expo too. So very walkable to all events if you are staying downtown. This is the perfect race to make a weekend of! We were lucky in that the Cleveland Indians were in town this weekend (sometimes they are, sometimes they aren't). We went to an Indians game Friday night to start off the festivities. Expo and Cleveland Aquarium (for my niece and nephew) on Saturday. Also highly recommend the Museum of Art, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Zoo (if the weather is good) and Cuyahoga Valley National Park (just 20-40 minutes outside of Cleveland). The Expo is a decent size and has a lot of great vendors. Definitely worth spending time there. Now for the race itself. Lets face it...May weather in Northeast Ohio is a crap shoot. But know this and plan for it. Stalk the weather and know that one day can be warm and the next can be cold. It could rain, it even snowed once. Yep. Snow. 3rd weekend in May. Be ready for everything! 2014 race was hot. Like. Really hot. I was regretting not only my log tights, but also my dark colored t-shirt. Luckily, there are plenty of aid stations to hydrate at and a few were spraying water to run through. There are also hills. Cleveland is definitely NOT FLAT. Know this. Be prepared for it. Cuyahoga River goes past downtown and since the race goes in and out of downtown, you get to run the bridges. Which are like big hills. I've honestly learned to "work the hills". My PR is at a race with hills similar to Cleveland. The course goes through downtown and through several great neighborhoods (Tremont, Ohio City, Lakewood) before coming back downtown and finishing at Public Square. Also, I'm not a huge beer drinker, but I can definitely appreciate the fact that Great Lakes Brewery is a sponsor. So nice to have GOOD beer waiting at the end for you. Tito's is also a sponsor, so if you don't like beer, your drink ticket on your bib works either at the Great Lake's booth, or the Tito's booth. WIN/WIN!!! Highly recommend this race and that you make a weekend trip/racecation of it!
Also...I learned to never wear a happy birthday tiara during a race. I thought it would be less annoying than a Happy Birthday sash. I was wrong. The teeth on that thing were KILLING ME by the end of the half marathon!
UPDATE: The Expo was at the IX Center in 2014, but has now moved downtown to the Convention Center - which makes things super easy with everything now downtown. Particularly if you are from out of town and staying downtown.