Marathons, Half- Marathons and More

July 17, 2014

Cleveland Races for Serious Runners

You've studied your gait, you've religiously tracked your pace and you're ready to hit a new PR. Leave the color runs and mud races to the kids, you're a serious runner in need of race that's equally as serious.

Cleveland's a great locale for runners, as the city offers a number of long-distance runs with a wide diversity of courses ranging from wooded trails, national parks and major metropolitan areas.

Marathons, Half Marathons and Triathlons

Training complete? Check. Mentally prepped? Check. Now, you're ready for the real deal.

Aug. 3: During the Greater Cleveland Triathlon & Duathlon, athletes can take on an international distance & relay race, sprint distance triathlon?or a sprint distance duathlon at Headlands State Beach in Mentor.

Aug. 16: With more than 600 participants expected, the Gay Games Marathon and Half Marathon will run the official Akron Marathon route, a USA Track and Field-certified course.

Sept. 7: Held entirely within the city of Canton, the Canton City Marathon is a unique 26.2 criterium-style certified qualifier, a half marathon and a family-friendly 10K run/walk.

Sept. 7: Cedar Point Amusement Park hosts some of the best athletes in the world during the Rev3 Triathlon offering a half and full-triathlon on Cedar Point's peninsula.

Sept. 7: With a gorgeous course that dips through the Rocky River Reservation within the Cleveland Metroparks, the River Run Half Marathon is a course that boasts impeccable natural scenery and a mostly smooth and flat surface.

Sept. 27: A qualifying race for the Boston Marathon, the Akron Marathon is a favorite among many as it takes runners through Akron's downtown, unique neighborhoods and even a few miles along the Ohio and Erie Canalway Towpath. If you're not up for the full marathon, the event also offers a half marathon and team relay.

Oct. 12: If you're concerned about finding a marathon, half marathon or 10K race that offers a distinct running environment, consider the Towpath Marathon. This course runs along the Ohio & Erie Canalway, as well as through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Oct. 12: Held in beautiful Fairport Harbor in Lake County, competitors in the Northern Ohio Marathon run through northern Mentor (east of Cleveland) and along the shores of Lake Erie. The race also includes a half marathon and 5K.

May 17, 2015: It's the one. It's the only. It's The Cleveland Marathon. Known as one of the flattest and fastest course in the country, the Cleveland Marathon was specifically designed to provide runners a very cool vantage point of Lake Erie, downtown Cleveland and several city landmarks. Besides offering the full marathon, the event also includes a half marathon, 10K and 5K.

Trail Runs

There's running on the road. And, then there's running on a trail. Serious trail runners know there's a big difference. Cleveland's home to a tremendous amount of parkland including a 23,000-acre metropark system encircling the city, as well as a 32,000-acre national park just minutes from downtown. So, we're no strangers to a good trail run.

Aug. 14: Held on the North Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks around 7pm at night, the Twilight Trail Run, is an 8K (4.9 mile) run in which 99% of the course is on dirt bridle trails. It also crosses one stream and goes over one major hill and many minor rolling hills.

Aug. 30: Run through a white pine grove, tons of quick turns and up and down several hills during the Leave No Trace - Trail Half Marathon at Camp Manatoc, a Boy Scout camp in Pennisula, OH (near Akron). Challenge yourself by exploring the Boy Scout camp's technical trails with an insane hill near the finish line.

Sept. 20: The Dirty Rocks 10K is a race that rocks out and back on the flat, fast bridle trail next to Rocky River. You won't get wet (unless you fall in), but there's about a 99.9% chance you'll get dirty!

Oct. 18: The Chippewa Creek Challenge is a 10-mile trail race through the Cleveland Metroparks Brecksville Reservation. Be prepared for a challenging course containing ups and downs along the way.

Nov. 1: The Down & Dirty 5 Miler is five-mile trail run through the Cleveland Metroparks Brecksville Reservation. Runners will take on a course that includes bridle trails, hiking trails, single-track trails and abandoned roads. Prepare to get messy.

Ultraruns

How many times have you been called "crazy?" Well, my friend, even if you are a little extreme about your running habits (ultra marathons, long-distance running, etc.), we embrace your type here in Cleveland. Because, trust us, we've been called cray cray a couple of times in our existence, too. 

Aug. 2: Don't pass up the opportunity to experience the Burning River 100 endurance run. The 100-mile run is particularly unique because it travels through some of Northeast Ohio's most treasured park systems including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Cleveland Metroparks. This race also is a Western States qualifier and the third leg of the Midwest Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.

Sept. 20-21: Is 100-miles just not ultra enough for you? Consider the Northcoast 24, an endurance race that lasts 24 hours. Competitors will race on a unique course that sits on the Lake Erie shore at Edgewater Beach. The Northcoast 24 is the USATF National Championship for 2014, which means you'll compete against some of the best runners in the nation who may possibly be chosen for the National Team.

This Is TOO Serious For Me

That's perfectly ok. If there's one place in the world that knows how to have a good time, it's Cleveland. Check out these fun, silly and just plain offbeat running races.

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