Overall Rating
Overall Rating (17 Reviews)
4.1
(17 Ratings)(17 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.8
SCENERY
3.6
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4.2
The Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K is one of the longest standing running traditions in the Midwest. The race is in its 43rd year of providing a running experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities. More than 350,000 runners have participated, generating more than … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Jesse Edgein
    jedgein REPEAT RUNNER '20

    This race was changed to a virtual race due to Covid19. I ran all around Canton for this one. The weather was great, nice and sunny. I wish I could … MORE

    This race was changed to a virtual race due to Covid19. I ran all around Canton for this one. The weather was great, nice and sunny. I wish I could of ran it in Cleveland but there is always next year!

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    trose1 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Very little shade on the course, so you are exposed to the elements; especially the hot sun, the wind off the lake can be your friend or your enemy depending … MORE

    Very little shade on the course, so you are exposed to the elements; especially the hot sun, the wind off the lake can be your friend or your enemy depending on where you are. The elevation maps are a bit misleading, there are some man-made inclines on the route that make it challenging in places. Overall, the crowd and aid support is plentiful throughout the course. I found it to be a fun big city race that is well organized.

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    runningg8r FIRST-TIMER '18

    I ran the Cleveland half in 2017 and returned for the full marathon in 2018. The scenery was nice for a full marathon route, they took you through some really … MORE

    I ran the Cleveland half in 2017 and returned for the full marathon in 2018. The scenery was nice for a full marathon route, they took you through some really nice neighborhoods and along the water. The route has some tough hills but lots of flat area too.

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    Lorelei REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Regarding my title for this review, when I crossed the finish line, I was pulled aside and told I was named “Cleveland’s Happiest Runner”!!! They interviewed me and the recording … MORE

    Regarding my title for this review, when I crossed the finish line, I was pulled aside and told I was named “Cleveland’s Happiest Runner”!!! They interviewed me and the recording is/was released 5/22/18. How sweet is that?! I’m totally elated! Hahaha

    The 8K course is a cruise around downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. It’s a nice and easy course for runners and walkers alike. Many use this course as a first Time 8K or a warm-up to the longer distance the following day, or just so they can extra swag.

    The swag includes a cotton shirt (or pajama top, as I call it), but the medal is really nice. It has a nice design that features the skyline and it has some heft to it – something to show off and be proud of. If you signed up for the challenge series, you also got a spring-weight hoodie.

    There were two aid stations which is plenty for an 8K.

    Only caveat I have is that the 8K Runners eventually meet up with 5K walkers so this makes the last mile a struggle as you weave around those going at a slower pace.

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    M_Sohaskey May 23, 2018 at 12:52am

    So cool, Lorelei! And so perfect — what an awesome award and I can't imagine a more deserving winner. I'd love to see your interview, if you wouldn't mind uploading… MORE

    So cool, Lorelei! And so perfect — what an awesome award and I can't imagine a more deserving winner. I'd love to see your interview, if you wouldn't mind uploading the video or adding a link to your review. And now we can brag that we have a RaceRaves celebrity :) I'm really liking Cleveland's bling and especially the half marathon medal, very classic look. Thanks for the thoughtful reviews, and CONGRATS on another awesome weekend in The Land! LESS

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    Lorelei May 23, 2018 at 3:37am

    Thanks, Mike. I haven’t found it yet, but when I do, I will upload. The bling has always been awesome. Prior to the 40th anniversary last year, their medals had… MORE

    Thanks, Mike. I haven’t found it yet, but when I do, I will upload. The bling has always been awesome. Prior to the 40th anniversary last year, their medals had spinning guitars! They’ve changed them for the 40th and it seems the design stuck. They are bigger and shinier and very pretty with the the skyline. It’s a fun event and I hope you’ll visit us in the near future. LESS

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    M_Sohaskey May 23, 2018 at 12:43pm

    Thanks Lorelei, I'd love to see it. And I've told Katie we need to rent a place in Ohio for a year, just so we can run all your cool… MORE

    Thanks Lorelei, I'd love to see it. And I've told Katie we need to rent a place in Ohio for a year, just so we can run all your cool races. :) LESS

    Lorelei REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I like to participate in the challenge series every year. This means you choose a shorter distance race on Saturday and a longer distance race on Sunday. My favorite is … MORE

    I like to participate in the challenge series every year. This means you choose a shorter distance race on Saturday and a longer distance race on Sunday. My favorite is the 8K and the half marathon. The course takes you through different types of areas and neighborhoods from residential to urban to downtown to business districts. The bridges are particularly nice. There are a few rolling hills but there is a whopper of a hill in the middle. And, boy do I love that hill! I must have passed 200 people on that hill. A real ego booster when you’re slow on flat but can rock the inclines. The aid stations are standard 2-miles-ish apart and are stocked with water and Powerade. There was one station that has gu. They ran out of gu and switched to honey stinger waffles – a win for me! Crowd support was good this year. You can predict crowd support by looking at the weather forecast – lol.

    The expo was decently sized but overall bland. They did have something unique, however. Customized finisher shirts! You pick the style and color of shirt and you pick one of the designs they offered which also came in a variety of colors. The cost was $25. Not bad! The choices were excellent.

    The swag was nice. Cotton shirts for the shirt Saturday races. Tech shirts for the longer Sunday races. This year, they had a better fit compared to last year’s baggy ones. If you registered for the challenge series (a Saturday and Sunday race), you received a t-shirt hoodie. I LOVE THE HOODIE! Perfect fit. Great design. Already a favorite. Light-weight for spring.

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    jetwarrior23 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Just be smart about your goals. Be conservative (especially first-timers), and you'll do fine!! You don't want to set goals too high, and then crash and burn. MORE

    Just be smart about your goals. Be conservative (especially first-timers), and you’ll do fine!! You don’t want to set goals too high, and then crash and burn.

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    portlandrunner FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race was really flavored by the terrible weather conditions. What started as a cold drizzle turned into hail, rain, wind, and even lightning towards the end of the race. … MORE

    This race was really flavored by the terrible weather conditions. What started as a cold drizzle turned into hail, rain, wind, and even lightning towards the end of the race. There was no indoor area for runners afterwards, but some kind hotels graciously let us come in to warm up. There was ample support from the organization throughout the race despite the poor weather, and the few people who braved the rain to cheer on the runners were friendly and encouraging. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to future races.

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    frankhwu FIRST-TIMER '17

    I would run this again if I were there. (I live in San Francisco.) On the plus side, I was flying in and couldn't pick up the bib at the … MORE

    I would run this again if I were there. (I live in San Francisco.)

    On the plus side, I was flying in and couldn’t pick up the bib at the expo. They had a person handing them out on race day. That was nice. You missed out on the t-shirt. But that’s how it goes.

    On the negative side, not enough porte-potties. There were many. But not relative to the size of the crowd. So I was still in line when the gun went off. It was a mass start, surprising given how many people there were.

    The course itself is not bad. It’s probably about as good as you’d get in a Midwestern industrial metropolis (that’s not knocking the Midwest or industrial metropolises — my hometown is Detroit; it’s just saying it is what it is). Not hilly. Interesting urban scenery.

    Oh, also, parking was much easier than I expected. I got a cheap rate in the stadium garage. In a race at a popular destination, it would have been much more expensive or farther away.

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    debbles FIRST-TIMER '17

    Packet pickup was on the Friday and Saturday before. 5k and 8k races ran on Saturday (with packet pickup Friday only) while the 10k, half, and full ran Sunday. The … MORE

    Packet pickup was on the Friday and Saturday before. 5k and 8k races ran on Saturday (with packet pickup Friday only) while the 10k, half, and full ran Sunday. The tech shirt is pretty nice, and I’m sure many people appreciated the cute key chain bottle openers they gave out as well! The expo had a ton of great vendors with lots of nice CLE-specific things for sale.

    Starting line was outside Quicken Loans arena and things were well-organized. Lots of porta-potties, good signing for the corrals, and the crowd was HUGE! I *kind of* had to pee, but didn’t want to wait in the long lines since I was running a little late to the start! Runners for all three events lined up and started together, and signs throughout the course clearly showed where each race broke off.

    The course went past quite a few Cleveland landmarks.. West Side market, the Rock Hall, and even the local Factory of Sadness, the Cleveland Browns stadium. Never having really seen Cleveland as an adult, I thought it was a great route to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.

    The finish line was packed with tons of post-run snacks and spots to take some nice photos posing with the medals. The beer garden was nice afterwards with a few standing tables but could’ve used more seating for some people who were really wiped out. Overall I thought it was a really nice race to run during my half marathon training plan and I’m debating whether to repeat or run the half next year!

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    M_Sohaskey Jul 14, 2017 at 6:59pm

    The local Factory of Sadness, ha ha ha. Let's here it for the Cavs! Glad the long lines at the porta-potties didn't ruin your day Debra, I think every runner… MORE

    The local Factory of Sadness, ha ha ha. Let's here it for the Cavs! Glad the long lines at the porta-potties didn't ruin your day Debra, I think every runner can empathize with the dreaded "To go or not to go" quandary. Congrats, hope your half training is going well and appreciate the awesome review! LESS

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    biroruns REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This year they changed the half marathon course in Cleveland. I didn't like it as much as the course from 2016. I thought the 2016 course was much better. They … MORE

    This year they changed the half marathon course in Cleveland. I didn’t like it as much as the course from 2016. I thought the 2016 course was much better.
    They do put on a great race weekend with great swag. I did the 8K and half marathon challenge which I did enjoy. They had great medals.

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    biroruns REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This 8K course is a flat course that runs through the down town city streets of Cleveland. You start and finish on Public Square. The cotton race T-shirt was ok. … MORE

    This 8K course is a flat course that runs through the down town city streets of Cleveland. You start and finish on Public Square. The cotton race T-shirt was ok. The have great finish medals and plenty of food after the race. All of the races on the Cleveland Rite Aid weekend are worth running. The do a great job all weekend.

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    Lorelei REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I loved the new course. It started at Public Square and took us past the Brown's Stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock Hall of Fame. As a flat … MORE

    I loved the new course. It started at Public Square and took us past the Brown’s Stadium, the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock Hall of Fame. As a flat and easy course, it is perfect for someone advancing to the 8K distance.

    I ran this race as part of the Cleveland Marathon Challenge, meaning I also ran the Half Marathon the following day. It’s a great warmup for the longer runs, but offers a little more challenge than a 5K.

    Since it was their 40th anniversary, the 8K medal was a big as the previous year’s half marathon medals. Very impressive and beautiful. For those that accepted the “challenge”, blankets were given out as well. The shirts were bland, though. Cotton, and without a notable design.

    All in all, I love this race and I’ll be back next year.

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    Lorelei REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The route was prettier this year. However, the Shoreway was removed from the course map which is a real heartbreaker if you love hills like I do. They did offer … MORE

    The route was prettier this year. However, the Shoreway was removed from the course map which is a real heartbreaker if you love hills like I do. They did offer a few steep hills to make up for the loss and while I appreciated the sentiment, I want my shoreway back.

    I loved going by the Brown’s Stadium, Great Lake Science Center and the Rock Hall of Fame. A very nice touch.

    The finish was very nice. We crossed a bridge and came in on the downhill making the final sprint a speedy one.

    The swag was amazing. They went all out given that this was their 40th anniversary. The medals were larger than in years past for all the distances. The design was beautiful. They offer a third challenge medal for those who complete a challenge series which a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday. They also gave challenge runners a super soft fluffy blanket guaranteed to swallow up your pets and children. If you like to collect bibs, they were lackluster this year and really kinda ugly.

    I do this race every year and I will be back next year, too.

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    M_Sohaskey May 25, 2017 at 5:20pm

    With every new race you review Lorelei, I think "Ooh, I want to run that one too!" Great photos and amazing collection of medals – and love your Runfari gear… MORE

    With every new race you review Lorelei, I think "Ooh, I want to run that one too!" Great photos and amazing collection of medals – and love your Runfari gear too. Though admittedly I'm surprised you were able to keep kitty out of your new blanket long enough to take a picture... ;) Thanks for the helpful reviews! LESS

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    Lorelei May 26, 2017 at 1:51am

    You should run Cleveland. This is a race I'll do every year, and one I would travel for. It was a battle to keep kitty off long enough. It resulted… MORE

    You should run Cleveland. This is a race I'll do every year, and one I would travel for. It was a battle to keep kitty off long enough. It resulted in me locking them out of the room! Also, my daughter tried to steal it! My struggles. Lol LESS

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    lchristensen44 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Expo was easy to get to and the parking was $8 on a Saturday. The expo was large enough to offer a variety of essentials and non-essentials. I think the … MORE

    Expo was easy to get to and the parking was $8 on a Saturday. The expo was large enough to offer a variety of essentials and non-essentials. I think the half and full both got the same short sleeve tech shirt and a 40th anniversary bottle opener/key chain. The medal is pretty and has a little bit of bling on it. Driving to downtown proved easier than expected on race morning. We parked near the baseball stadium which was very close to the start for $10. I noticed some runners found shelter inside the Quicken Loans arena (although not needed) before the start of the race. The first four miles of the course hit most of the top sights in downtown Cleveland and for the most part the half course had nice fan support. There was a large incline around mile 4 but other than that the half course was an easy run. The post race finish area was outdoors. After a free beer I left earlier than planned because there were no heat sheets to keep warm when it started raining. Areas the organizers can improve upon are that I found the water stops very congested (Pittsburgh’s are much more spread out) and I noticed runners had issues knowing where the power ade was.

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    Lorelei REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The half marathon is a great distance for this race. The course changes due to road construction and other uncontrollable situations, but the organizers like to provide a taste of … MORE

    The half marathon is a great distance for this race. The course changes due to road construction and other uncontrollable situations, but the organizers like to provide a taste of all the neighborhoods. It has gentle hills, especially over the iconic bridges, but I wouldn’t rate it as hilly nor flat. Just somewhere in between.

    This year, they added a challenge series so you can choose to do a 5k or 8k on Saturday, followed by the half or the full on Sunday. You can a medal and shirt for each race plus a bonus 3rd medal. This year, the challenge series runners also received a really nice cinch bag with zippered netted section, a cooling towel and a water bottle.

    While it’s a big race for the area, I’ve never had problems getting to the start line nor leaving the finish. Traffic is not so bad and you can find parking within walking distance.

    It’s a race I’ll do every year.

    I have not this full in Cleveland. It seems like a rather lonely run. If you like peace and solitude when on a long run, then maybe this is the marathon for you.

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    Profile photo of Artin Soroosh
    As120iq FIRST-TIMER '16

    They close down many busy parts of the city for this run. It's a great tour of different parts of Cleveland with a relatively easy course and good scenery. The … MORE

    They close down many busy parts of the city for this run. It’s a great tour of different parts of Cleveland with a relatively easy course and good scenery. The weather was brutal and made things very difficult, but it was well worth it. Started at 7am.

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    Lorelei REPEAT RUNNER '15

    I like this race because it takes you through all kinds of Cleveland neighborhoods, from industrial to commercial to residential. You even get to run along Lake Erie. It's not … MORE

    I like this race because it takes you through all kinds of Cleveland neighborhoods, from industrial to commercial to residential. You even get to run along Lake Erie. It’s not to hard and not to difficult. It’s just right. The energy level is high and the crowd support really rocks (but, of course, we are the home of rock-n-roll, so it only makes sense.)

    They added challenges this year. You can do a short race on Saturday and then a long race on Sunday. You get a medal for each race, plus a third for having completed both.

    Cleveland is an amazing city filled with a plethora of hidden gems. This race is a good opportunity to explore the other treasures offered up in this northeast Ohio city.

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