2014 has brought many changes to my life, and one that I am very excited about is a major change for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. This year, they announced a new course for every race (marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and Kids’ Run), and I think it’s great! Before anyone start grumbling, say it with me now, “Change is a good thing!”
The renovations at First Energy Stadium made change a necessity, but the race coordinators wanted to hear from their participants, too, and make changes. They conducted a survey in December to get feedback on the courses and other items that were important to runners. Having completed the survey myself, I weighed in that I preferred the west side of the course as opposed to the east side. My main reason – I fell apart on the east side. Not sure if it was the heat, the blazing sun, or the feeling of isolation on that stretch of the course, but it really messed with me. After two years of failing at the same point in the race, I was happy to hear that portion was taken out and the race was moved to the west side. Even if I was crushing the race on the old course, I knew the lingering thought of failure would creep into my head once we split from the half, doubt as to whether or not I could even complete this race. Having that weighing on my mind wouldn’t have been conducive to a great race. I’m sure plenty of other runners can agree with me on that point.
I feel like the new courses breathe life back into the race, and everyone gets to have a brand new Cleveland Experience! I don’t know about you, but that thought energizes me and makes me want to train even harder. Two of the best neighborhoods (in my opinion) are Tremont and Ohio City, and those are still a fixture of the course. The additions of Lakewood and Rocky River should bring even more energy and crowd support to the race, two of the things runners requested in the survey. Well, you ask, and you shall receive. Thank you, Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon!
For course maps, visit http://www.clevelandmarathon.com/Course_Maps/.
And if you still haven’t registered and are considering running one of the races, get your registration in before February 26 at midnight! Use the code CLE2014 and save 10% off your registration to any race! Register at http://www.clevelandmarathon.com/Registration/.