The pictures really do say it all. It was quite a day, but I am so happy to have done this awesome race again!
In case you don't know, the Cleveland Marathon is my favorite race. Yes, even more favorite than Akron, which is saying something. As a major race, CLE has (among many other things) a great expo, super awesome community support like the Cleveland Marathon Training Group on Facebook, and an epic race-day atmosphere. I initially wanted to do the half at Cleveland, but I decided to do just the 10K and wait for Medina Half at the end of the month. I do wish that I had switched the two and just did Medina 5K. Oh well!
My husband and I got up a little before 5:00 and made our way to the same deck we parked in last year (North Point by the Rock Hall) at 6:00. It's a longer walk to the starting line but a much shorter walk back from the finish line, which is always good. The weather at this point was about 65° and a bit humid, but fine. Once we got to the starting line, the rain swiftly followed.
|minutes before the onslaught|
It only rained kind of hard for a few minutes, in which we got pretty soaked (see middle picture at top). We stepped off a few minutes after the gun due to being in the F [is for Fun] corral, and spent the first mile weaving past walkers that chose to not line up in the designated walker area. Once the herd thinned out, it was smooth sailing! I think the course was exactly the same, so it was nice to know what was coming. I love CLE for its flat courses (hills are the devil), and it was a really easy run in general. After running up and down the Hope Memorial Bridge so many times (also the devil), I knew what to expect and adjusted as I needed.
After the bridge, the humidity really started to get crazy. My poor husband was dehydrated and not having a good race, so I stayed with him and we took it easy. I felt bad for him, but I was feeling great and having a very comfortable race. It definitely made me feel much better about my half coming up.
At the start of the race, I remembered the shoreway was a total surprise last year and how much it sucked to run up. Thankfully, we were prepared for it this time! Still sucked. However, it's a really great view of the city on the right side and the lake on the left side!
|We got to see a barge (or something) coming in.|
We rolled into the finish and, praise Jesus, the chocolate milk people were there again! I would run a million 10Ks just for some free chocolate milk. We grabbed our other food and sat down in the park to rest.
|attempt at being artsy|
After we cooled off (it was stupid hot by then), we went over to the balcony by the Browns stadium and Science Center to take our pictures. We didn't stick around too long because we were starving and just wanted our traditional post-race Chipotle and a long shower. Nobody we really knew was there anyway.
When we got home, I saw a lot of posts on the Facebook group's website about how bad the weather was. I guess it was way worse than I thought- lots of stuff about people collapsing and turning blue and things like that. I'm glad my husband ended up being okay even though he wasn't feeling too well.
We still had a perfect experience and I seriously can't wait for next year!