Tag Archives: Cleveland Marathon Expo

10 tips for 10 days



Race day for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is almost here! We are 10 days out, so it seemed appropriate to share 10 tips for the next 10 days.

  1. Pack for any and all weather scenarios! We all saw what happened last year – ice, snow, rain, sleet, thunder, wind. And the year before that turned out to be crazy hot and humid. This is spring in Cleveland, and you don’t know one day to the next how the weather will behave. Do yourself a favor and plan for anything, so you’re not rushing to the store trying to buy clothes to accommodate.
  2. Don’t try anything new on race day. It doesn’t matter if it’s clothing, shoes, food, race fuel; just don’t do it! One year, I made the rookie mistake of wearing my new compression socks I had never raced in because I heard that were great for running. After one of the worst race experiences (not entirely from the socks but they certainly didn’t help matters), I swore I wouldn’t do it again. Although it’s enticing to want to try the goodies you bought at the Expo or things that just shipped from Amazon, save yourself the trouble and race how you trained.
  3. Check out this year’s race course maps. It’s important to know where you will be running, as well as elevation changes, water stops, gel steps, first aid stations, and bathrooms. Also, the Shore way is out, and the new finish at the renovated Public Square is in! For those running the 5K and 8K, it’s no longer at Edgewater Park but downtown like the rest of the events. Like me, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the changes.
  4. If you’re looking for an easy carb-loading solution for Saturday night, try the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Pasta Dinner! The dinner will be held May 20 from 6:00-8:00PM at the Hyatt Regency in the Arcade. Tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for children, and it’s an all-you-can-eat dinner with salads, various pastas, rolls, beverages, and desserts.
  5. Know the packet pick-up times at the Expo. If you’re running the 5K or 8K, you can pick up your packet on Friday, May 19 anytime between 11:00AM and 7:00PM, and there is race-day pick-up option on Saturday beginning at 6:30AM. Running the 10K, half, or full? You can pick up on Friday or anytime on Saturday, May 20 between 10:00AM and 6:00PM. There is no race-day pick-up for Sunday’s races. Make sure you bring your ID, and if you can’t pick up your own packets, someone can do it for you as long as they have a picture of your ID.
  6. If you’re gunning for a goal time in the half or full, consider running with the Pace Teams! Pace teams are there for motivation and to help you meet your goal. Why not take advantage of them?! I used it last year to help me get my first sub-4:00 marathon and plan on starting with the Pace Team again. Pace Team members carry a sign to make them visible along the course, so you can’t miss them. There’s a whole slew of them for various times ranging from a 3:00 marathon to a 5:25 marathon. For the half, pace times range from 1:30 to 3:00.
  7. If you’re spectating, get a plan together. On the Marathon’s website, they list the best spots to watch the race and list the neighborhood parties. Plan where you need to be to help motivate your runner when he/she needs it most. Seeing your smiling face may be the best part of the race!
  8. Know the official energy gel and sports drink sponsors. If you’re like me, you can only use certain gels, or your stomach officially hates you during the run. Know what will be provided along the course to help you prepare. This year, the official energy gel is Honey Stinger (can I get an AMEN!?), and the official sports drink is PowerAde. Gels will be available at mile 8 and before mile 19. As for hydration, there are 18 stops along the marathon course, 8 for the half, and 3 for the 10K. Each will have water and PowerAde.
  9. Get your race morning schedule together. If you’re staying downtown, this should be easier, but if you’re traveling into Cleveland on the day of the race, pay attention to which roads will be closed and when. If you’re running Saturday, plan to be in Cleveland by 7:00AM at the latest, as the races start at 8:00AM. On Sunday, get into the city before 6:00AM because that is when roads start closing. Sunday’s races start at 7:00AM.
  10. Prepare to party your butt off and celebrate your accomplishment! Join runners and spectators at the Great Lakes Brewing Company 26.3 Mile Finish Line Rock Party at Public Square that features live music, food and beverages, and a beer garden for those 21 and over (ID required). It’s open to the public, so everyone can enjoy it.

Soooooo, good luck, enjoy these last 10 day, and get ready to run CLE!


so begins marathon weekend


Yesterday kicked off my Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon weekend, and what better way to do that than by taking a half day off of work to enjoy the Expo and attending the VIP reception!

Raymond and I worked until noon and then grabbed lunch at Chipotle. You have heard me say before that Chipotle is my favorite pre-race/long run meal, and I always eat it two days before. After that, we started driving to the Expo but had to make an impromptu stop at CLE Clothing Co. I was checking Facebook and saw that they posted something about new marathon and half marathon shirts. I NEEDED one of these! I also picked up a new sticker to go on the back of my van (it makes it look cooler, right?).

marathon gear

new marathon gear!

After Cleveland Clothing Co., we headed to the Health and Fitness Expo at the I-X Center. Last year we went on Saturday, and it was packed. The official merchandise was also picked over, so this year, we wanted to get there early. This was a good move because we were able to park in the first row!


If only we were as lucky with marathon merchandise. The shirts I wanted were already sold out except a handful of XL and XXL. This was the only disappointing thing about the Expo, though; everything else was great. We did a little shopping, enjoyed walking around, and got our picture taken at the Volkswagen tent.

runners unite

why we run


close-up of my sign on the board

V__8C6B  The fun didn’t stop there. We were also invited to attend the Cleveland Marathon VIP reception at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland. We were treated to delicious food and drinks and had a chance to see many of the other bloggers again, as well as important people such as the race director. Thank you, Cleveland Marathon, for the invitation! It was a great evening.


cleveland marathon official bloggers (we’re still missing a few)

V__7375Now, let’s run CLE!

thanks, cleveland marathon!


free parking

I am sure you have already heard the great news, but if you haven’t, I am happy to say that parking for the Cleveland Marathon Expo at the I-X Center is free this year! Last year, there were quite a few runners, including me, who were upset about having to pay $8 to park and pick up race packets. I know it is only 8 bucks, but I would have rather spent that on marathon goodies than a parking spot. Thankfully, the Cleveland Marathon listened to its participants and worked out a deal with the I-X Center to allow free parking. The 2014 Expo will also be held at the I-X Center and offer free parking.

The Expo will be held on Friday, May 17 from 11:00am to 7:00pm and on Saturday, May 18 from 10:00am to 6:00pm. All runners must pick up their race bib and participant’s shirt at the Expo, as there are no race day pick-ups. If you absolutely can’t make it, someone can pick up your packet as long as they have a copy of your license and your bib number. The Expo is also a great chance to shop for some Cleveland Marathon gear, as well as other discounted running gear and products. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what they offer this year. My one word of advice – If you would like to shop, it is better to go earlier than later. I went on Saturday afternoon last year, and there weren’t too many things available in my size. My game plan is to go Friday.

If you are an out-of-town guest running the race, don’t worry; there is a transportation option for you. The Hyatt Regency Cleveland, the marathon’s host hotel, is offering a free shuttle service to and from the Expo. Here’s the shuttle schedule.

Friday, May 17     1:45pm – 7:00pm
Pick-Up/Drop-Off: Every half hour in front of the Hyatt

Saturday, May 18     9:45am – 6:00pm
Pick-Up/Drop-Off: Every 15 minutes in front of the Hyatt

And remember, if you are still considering participating in one of the Cleveland Marathon races, just make up your mind already and sign up! I even made it easy for you because here’s the registration link: http://www.clevelandmarathon.com/Registration/. See you at the race!