May 19, 2023 - Health

Cleveland Marathon's new route features more than 60 turns

Runners at the starting line of the 2022 Cleveland marathon.

The starting gate of the cloudy 2022 Cleveland Marathon. Photo: Courtesy of the Union Home Mortgage Cleveland Marathon

Roughly 8,000 runners will participate in the Cleveland Marathon races this weekend.

Driving the news: The 46th edition of the local marathon, sponsored by Union Home Mortgage, features a new route that crisscrosses downtown Cleveland and east and west side neighborhoods.

What they're saying: When marathon leaders announced the changes earlier this year, they celebrated that the routes for the marathon, half-marathon,10k and 5k all took place entirely within the city limits, giving runners a taste of all Cleveland has to offer.

  • "Whether you live here, you're from here, or you've never been to Cleveland before, you'll fall in love with the city before you finish the race," marathon director Ralph Staph said.

The other side: Three-hour pacer and Ohio marathon veteran Ryan McCartney (@WestParkRunner on Twitter) tells Axios that the excessive turns on the route — more than 60 — mean that most runners will end up traversing more than the standard 26.2 miles.

  • "It also makes it difficult to find a groove," he says.

The intrigue: The race is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, so runners chasing personal records won't be pleased to lose valuable seconds navigating multiple crossings.

Details: The marathon steps off at 7am Sunday, but race festivities take place all weekend long, including:

  • The 5k and 10k, 7:30am Saturday; a Health and Fitness Expo at the Huntington Convention Center all day Saturday; an afterparty Sunday on Mall B sponsored by Fat Head's Brewery.

Of note: If you've got important errands to run Sunday morning, be mindful of the road closings.

The bottom line: Weather is projected to be sublime, so grab a lawn chair and cheer on the runners, or venture to one of the marathon's official cheer zones.


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