The Cleveland Marathon has given me so many fantastic memories. I’m kicking off race weekend with five of the most memorable Cleveland Marathon moments!
The most exciting weekend of the year is about to begin — the Cleveland Marathon! Tonight kicks off the festivities with the much-anticipated VIP event. Saturday features the kids run, 1-mile, 5K, and 8K races. And then, of course, the main event on Sunday: the full and half marathons, and the 10K. I’m very much looking forward to seeing friends old and new!
A few people have asked what my goals are for race day. I have none. Zip. Zero. Zilch. As my preschooler says, “I have none goals.” My only goal is to run and have fun. This will be my longest run since the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I’m just thankful I’m in a good enough place to run the half at all!
With all the excitement and activities about to begin, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the more memorable moments I’ve had during my time as a Cleveland Marathon ambassador (and even before then, too). There are so many things it was hard to narrow it down but there are definitely five things that stick out in my memory. So without further ado, these are my most memorable Cleveland Marathon moments!
5 Memorable Cleveland Marathon Moments
1. Meeting the other ambassadors for the first time.
This was one of the most stressful and awkward meetings I’ve ever had. I was coming into a very tight-knit group of friends and I was most definitely the outsider. We met at a bar about 30 minutes away from my house for an informal ambassador meetup. I didn’t know what to expect so I was grateful when a couple of the ambassadors were warm and welcoming. It didn’t end up being as scary as I thought it would be, but it’s always tough being the new girl. I’m glad I attended that meetup, though, because I’ve made some great friends from that original group of ambassadors!
2. Completing my first ever half marathon!
In 2014 I ran my first 13.1 at the Cleveland Marathon. The whole experience was so new and exciting. From the expo to race day and to finally putting a 13.1 sticker on my car — it was magical!
3. Training all winter for my first full marathon.
Not only was Cleveland my first half marathon, it was my first full marathon, too. I know I gush about training for my first full marathon quite a bit, but it was such an impactful time of my life. The experience of training through many, many feet of snow, negative temperatures on more than one long run, plus the freezing of our water bottles and hoses, and not to mention all the layers and frozen appendages — what’s not to gush about?! I had the time of my life training for the 2015 Cleveland Marathon. The weather come race day was the polar opposite of what we had trained in. And it was by far my worst race experience to date. But the training, memories, and friendships more than made up for that.
4. The most Cleveland race ever.
And in true Cleveland fashion, the following year the weather did a complete 180˚ from 2015. In 2015 it was a little chilly at the start, then quickly turned hot, humid, rainy, then grossly muggy. Blisters and sunburns for everyone! But if there was a way for the weather to be the complete opposite in 2016, Mother Nature found it. Think low 30s, rain, hail, thundersnow, and water spouts. And just to add insult to injury, Mother Nature let the sun shine down an hour or so after many runners crossed the finish line. Granted it was still cold even with the sun out, but this was truly the most Cleveland race ever.
5. “Shuffle just enough so it doesn’t look like we’re walking.”
And last, but certainly not least, is the 2017 race. I started on my way solo in 2017 but within a few miles bumped into my friend, Will. He was running the full, I was running the half. But we were both taking it easy. Neither one of us had race goals. We both just wanted to finish and have fun. And that’s exactly what we did. There was one monstrous hill that I complained all the way up. Will kept telling me to shuffle just enough so it didn’t look like we were walking. It worked, too, because I didn’t walk up that wretched hill!
I’m so looking forward to this weekend. Here’s wishing everyone racing (in Cleveland and elsewhere!) swift feet, a strong heart, and GREAT weather!
Happy weekend, friends!
What’s your most memorable (good or bad) race moment?