Yeah, I know…I’ve been MIA in the blogging world. So you know this has to be big if I am writing a post about it!

This week, I am giving away a FREE entry into the 40th Rite Aide Cleveland Marathon!

Cleveland Marathon Giveaway

Not up for running 26.2 miles? That’s cool because RACM has you covered for any distance:

  • Full Marathon– Sunday, May 21
  • Half-Marathon – Sunday, May 21
  • 10K – Sunday, May 21
  • 8K– Saturday, May 20
  • 5K– Saturday, May 20

As most of you know, the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon was the first marathon I ever ran back in 2009 and I have ran it 4 other times since. Last year I ran the half for the first time and will be back again this year to complete the 13.1 miles. Notice I didn’t say “just the half?” Read all about how I feel about that here!

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you also know how I feel about Cleveland and the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon: so. much. love. The city and the race hold a special place in my heart: the sites, sounds, food, people, amazing sports teams (yes, I am including the Browns in that as well!) Every year I love coming back home to a place that is a complete 180 from the hustle-and-bustle of DC.


Take a look at my past blog posts and race recaps to see what I mean:

RACM Race Recap

RACM Recap {Part 2}

CLE Recap {Part 1}

A Stronger Marathoner


Do those make you want to run one of the RACM races yet? If, not, then I have something else up my sleeve. I asked my fellow ambassadors to share their tips on running in Cleveland for the first time and how to survive your first (or any number) race.

Melissa wrote: “You can train for the race, but it’s Cleveland – so you won’t always be prepared for the weather. Race day weather is never predictable – I’ve run in 80 degree heat and snow/ice. It’s all about your attitude going into it – if you think about that as part of the fun and experience, you’ll be prepared to at least have the most Cleveland race ever.”

Mary wrote: “Yes…have fun with the weather stalking! Don’t dress too warm if it’s warmer out. I did that and regretted it. Have fun & enjoy the experience! Unless you are gong for a BQ or something, don’t put so much pressure on yourself and just have fun!”

Stephanie wrote: “The weather plays a huge role in how the race will play out. Be prepared for that by setting an A, B, and C goal. Also, pack clothes for all kinds of weather options! I was a glad I brought warmer clothes for the 8K last year because I needed to re-wear them for the marathon. And last but not least, if you are prone to stomach issues, do yourself a favor and take Imodium! Had I known this earlier, I may not have spent 2 CLE Marathons in the port-o-potties! Now, I take 1 with lunch the day before, 1 with dinner, and an extra one when I wake up on race day. Haven’t had an issue since.”

Jessica wrote: “Run the race time you trained for, not the race time you want. All too often runners go out too fast because they want a specific goal time but they are not actually trained for that time yet. This results in a much slower race time as you expend too much energy early on. There is no “banking time” early on. Seconds you bank in the first half of the race will slow you down by minutes in the second half. Run the race you are trained for and you will have a good time. I speak from experience on this.”

Holly wrote:  “Take a sip of water at every water stop, even if you are not thirsty. Staying hydrated is essential to racing well.”

Jill wrote: “Be careful you don’t trip on the stairs five days before, lest you break your ankle (okay, that’s a personal reminder for myself!) but really, remember it’s supposed to be FUN and that race day is just one day out of weeks and months of training. So even if the race doesn’t go as planned, it doesn’t discount all the work you put into training.”

Stephani wrote: ” What I know now: Look for distractions along the route. The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon has great entertainment along just about every mile. I love running through Ohio City, and the signs I see make me laugh every time.” (Mary added…keep an eye out the the many murals on the buildings)

Melissa wrote: ” I like to use race days to turn off my music and just enjoy the sounds of the crowd, nothing motivates me more than a ‘touch here for power’ sign!”

So you’ve read my past blog posts about Cleveland and you have been given great advice: now you know you want to run in Cleveland! 


I’ll make this super easy for you, just leave a comment below about why you want to run in Cleveland and what distance race you would choose. You can earn an extra entry if you swing by Instagram and follow me :) 

The winner will be announced on Monday, March 27th!

11 Responses so far.

  1. tabitha says:

    i want to run cleveland for the simple reason that its our hometown race. i have run the half twice, with last year being my PR. i am running the indy mini the beginning of the month and then will be training for seawheeze in august … so this year i would love to run the 10k!

  2. Jessica says:

    I’d like to run in Cleveland because it’s a fun way to explore a new city! I’d pick the half because that’s what I’ve been training for but I would be tempted to try the full.

    • Christine says:

      Even though I am signed up to run the half part of me wants to transfer to the full…it is such a great course. Good luck and the winner will be emailed next week!

  3. Danielle says:

    I want to experience exploring Cleveland by foot, in my opinion the best way to travel :). I would like to do the full because it is my favorite distance. There is nothing else like it. Good luck in your training!!

  4. Amanda Morken says:

    I’d love to run in Cleveland because I have yet to visit Cleveland (I’ve been to Columbus and Cincinnati, but not Cleveland) and there are several restaurants I want to try. I run to eat. I’d pick the 1/2 marathon because I’ve run a marathon in OH (Flying Pig) but not a 1/2 – also, I’m not trained to marathon distance right now.

  5. Sue M says:

    I want to run the marathon with the 3:55 pacer. I trained for another marathon in March and went out too fast. As a result, I missed my goal. I want Cleveland to be my redemption!

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