May the Course Be With You
Spectator's Guide to the Cleveland Marathon
By Nicole Canitano and Nina McCollum
Watching someone run a marathon is hard work - considering all that eyeball moving and cheering from your perch in a portable lawn chair.
To be honest, few people give marathon spectators enough credit. They turn out early in the morning to follow and cheer-on their runner who is likely undertaking one of the most significant moments of their lives. It can be a deeply personal experience for not just the runner, but his or her supporters, as well.
So, dear spectator, we've compiled a few travel tips for your Rite Aide Cleveland Marathon. experience:
So your runner needs to carb-load the night before the big race and it's likely that you'll be tagging along. If you can't make it to the big pasta dinner at the Hyatt Regency at the Arcade, we'd recommend checking out Cleveland's historic and delicious Little Italy neighborhood. The 0.2-mile stretch (a far cry from 26.2) along Mayfield Road offers some of the best restaurants in which to put away pasta in The Land.
It's A Sign: Where to Watch
One of the best things about the Cleveland Rite Aid Marathon is the fact that there are so many accessible spots to cheer on your runner.
According to marathoner David Hansen: "I have run a few marathons, and I always appreciate people showing up to cheer. After all, you are a part of it. You're making a contribution to the event!"
Stephanie's Itibrout agrees. "I love the signs and the cheering. I feel, as a slower marathoner, that I struggle more than many runners. Crowd support keeps me going," she said.
And, the best part is, unlike your runner, you will still have all your toenails when it's over.
Click here to see all the locations in several Cleveland neighborhoods where these unique "cheer parties" will be taking place along the racers' route.
Spectator Fuel: Coffee Spots
Need a caffeine fix or a quick bite between runner sightings? Dart in and out of these local digs situated near the route for a little java to keep you going.
- Rising Star Coffee Roasters
- Erie Island Coffee Co.
- Green Rooster Farms
- Pour Cleveland
- Restore Cold Pressed
- Helio Terra Vegan Café
So, your runner just finished a marathon?
First things first, the afterparty. Head to Public Square for the Great Lakes Brewing Company 26.3 Mile Finish Line Rock Party. Complete with food, live music and, of course, beer. The event starts serving craft beer as early as 8 a.m. Better yet, it's free and open to the public.
Then, check out these hotspots to keep the celebration going:
- Society Lounge (Downtown)
- Bar 32 at Downtown Hilton (Downtown)
- Butcher and the Brewer (Downtown)
- Turn Kitchen and Bar (Downtown)
- Azure Rooftop Lounge (Downtown)
- Thirsty Dog East Bank (Flats East Bank)
- Collision Bend Brewery (Flats East Bank)
- Porco Lounge and Tiki Room (Ohio City)
No Medal? No Prob.
Looking for that perfect memento that says, "I Survived Watching the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and All I Got Was This ...?" Check out these unique, locally owned shops for one-of-a-kind Cleveland apparel for those of us who skipped out on running the 26.2-mile haul, but still feel like we deserve some swag:
- CLE Clothing Co. (Downtown & Uptown)
- We Bleed Ohio (Downtown)
- Salty Not Sweet (Ohio City)
- Ilthy (Detroit Shoreway)
- GV Art and Design (Lakewood)
For More Marathon Info
Need more information or have questions? Visit www.clevelandmarathon.com for the complete schedule and details about race weekend.
Need a Little Handholding?
Everyone needs a little handholding sometimes. When it comes to exploring Cleveland, we've got you. While you're in town for the Cleveland marathon, find your way around town and create your own experiences with Destination Cleveland's app.