Running on the Wild Side

July 17, 2014

Offbeat Races in Cleveland

Love-hate relationship with your running habit? Cleveland rocks to its own beat and, let's be honest here, we welcome others to come as they are. So, if you need a little offbeat oomph to get you through a road race, well, you've come to the right place.

Dirty Girl Mud Run

Ladies: Are you feeling a little dirty? Okay, that was cheeky, we admit. But, the Dirty Girl Mud Run is coming to the Cleveland area Aug. 9, so we figured we'd take advantage of the countless puns that come as a result. Seriously, though, this unique run features a ridiculous amount of mud throughout its 5K course in Garrettsville, Ohio. So, create a team, prep your costumes and get ready to be covered in head-to-toe mud by the end of this hilarious race.

Lake View Cemetery 5K

We here in Cleveland have a bit of an obsession with this incredible historic cemetery located on the east side of town. It's called Lake View Cemetery and it's the final resting place for some truly incredible folks who made Cleveland what it is today - John D. Rockefeller, President James A. Garfield and more. Take a "Run Through History" during the Lake View Cemetery 5K Aug. 17 and find out why we love this place so much.

Cedar Point Races

Everything is more fun at Cedar Point Amusement Park. Everything. Period. Good thing the park offers a couple of unique road races.

On Sept. 5, get to Cedar Point for the REV3Glow Run where you can take part in a 5K or one-mile fun run at night completely adorned in glow sticks, blinky things, glow-in-the-dark paint and all sorts of reflective gear. You'll even get a reduced rate to the park that day.

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

Around the holidays, (Dec. 14 to be exact), Cedar Point also hosts the Santa Hustle Half Marathon and 5K. This hugely popular run through the massive lakeside amusement park will put some nip in your step (it can be somewhat chilly in December) while competitors are decked out in their most creative Santa paraphernalia. Adding some cheer to the run, runners get  Christmas cookies, candy and caroling along the course.

Cleveland Color Run

What would an article about running races be without a color run? We're not sure. So, we want to make sure you know about the Cleveland Color Run happening Oct. 4. During this 5K, you'll be met with several color stations that will blast you and your competitors with huge cannons of colorful dust. If you've never experienced a color run, it's time to cross this baby off your bucket list right here in Cleveland.

Ledges to Lake Adventure Race

Interested in taking your runs to the next level? Consider the Ledges to Lake Adventure Race, which is held at the Cleveland Metroparks Hinkley Reservation Sept. 20. So, what's the plan, Stan? Competitors run 3.5 miles, paddle 1.5 laps in a kayak around Hinkley Lake and then bike nine miles to the finish line. Whew...we just got winded writing about the race.

A Christmas Story House 5K/10K Run

Cleveland is home to the movie location for the cult classic A Christmas Story. We're so cool and kitsch that we even have an entire museum and tour dedicated to everyone's favorite holiday flick.

Even better, the A Christmas Story House now hosts it's own 5K/10K run on a course that goes from Public Square in downtown Cleveland to the house location in Tremont.

Hundreds of participants- from serious runners to stroller brigades - come out to enjoy this hysterical run where folks dress up like Ralphie, run in Leg Lamp costumes or jog in the Bunny Suit that Aunt Clara gave Ralphie for Christmas!  

The Fun Doesn't Stop There

There are more fun races than we could ever include in one article. Here's a handful more races that make running that much more fun...

  • Sept. 13: The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - This highly popular 5K run/walk is a great way honor and memorialize those with breast cancer. A great way to add some meaning to your run.
  • Nov. 1: Cleveland Stache Dash - Held in North Ridgeville (west of Cleveland), this 5K and one-mile fun run encourages runners to wear their best mustaches - or for the gents among us - grow one of their own.
  • Nov. 27: Cleveland Turkey Trot - Get in a morning run before dining on stuffing and pumpkin pie during this five- and one-mile run through downtown Cleveland. Bonus for runners dressed as turkeys and pilgrims.
  • Nov. 29: 2014 Pigskin Classic 5k and Tailgate Party - Face it. This is Cleveland. We like to party. Kick off the Ohio State/Michigan collegiate football game with this morning run followed by a tailgating party in Tremont.
  • Dec. 13: Santa Shuffle Tremont - It's a sight to behold. Hundreds of Santas run this one-mile run through Tremont while enjoying drink specials, collectable trinkets and other ridiculousness along the way.
Interested in Something More Serious?

Okay, so themed 5Ks and beer-friendly one-milers aren't for everyone. We get that. Thankfully, Cleveland's a hotbed of half marathons, marathons, triathlons and ultra races. Click to learn more.

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