26.3 Mile Finish Line Rock Party

Run. Train. Blog.


Please find below links to recent blog posts written by 2014 Official Bloggers for the Cleveland Marathon. There are 12 Official Bloggers and 5 Guest Bloggers who span a variety of race distances, pace times and experience.

You'll find interesting stories about their training, preparation and other tips for running, walking or jogging the "Cleveland Experience."

If you are interested in being part of the 2015 Blogger Program please email info@clevelandmarathon.com with your blog and social media links!

Stephanie Lesco

Full Marathon

Blog Homepage; @stephplusfour


  • Hi, my name is Stephanie, and I’m a mom of four who loves to run. I first laced up my shoes in 2009 as a way to combat stress and baby weight, and I've never looked back! My goal is to help inspire others, especially moms, to embrace a healthier lifestyle because I believe a healthier mom leads to a happier and healthier family. This will be my 5th year participating in a Cleveland Marathon race and my 3rd Cleveland full. I am also making this year's race a family affair and running the 5K with my oldest daughter. Follow the other bloggers and me on our journey as we #runCLE! See you at the starting line!

Jessica Humphrey

Half Marathon

Blog Homepage; @Go_Run_Jess


  • Outside of running and blogging, I am a high school special education teacher.  I live on the east side of Cleveland and enjoy spending time with my husband and two children outdoors.  I began running in 2008 and have since run two marathons, seven half marathons, two triathlons and a variety of other road races in an effort to stay healthy physically and mentally.  I've participated in the Cleveland Rite Aid races in some way, every year since 2009.  I love this city, love the running community that calls it home and enjoy sharing my journey as a "middle of the pack" runner!

Jessica McCartney

Full Marathon
Blog Homepage; @MojaMala2


  • Jessica is a lifelong Clevelander and is extremely active in the running community. She competes in up to 20 road races year, and has completed 11 marathons, including one Boston Marathon. In the past Jessica has ran in four Cleveland Marathon events, competing in the full and the half each twice. She is looking forward to running her 12th marathon and 3rd Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon! This is Jessica’s 4th year blogging for the race. When she is not blogging she enjoys running, racing, talking about running and running with her husband who is also an experienced runner. For more on Jessica you can visit her at www.thetamburarunner.com


Matthew Beal


Blog Homepage; @Beal88


  • Matthew Beal grew up in Akron and now resides in Westlake.  This will be Matthew's 4th year as a Cleveland Marathon Blogger.   His journey to a healthy lifestyle began back in 2009 and has lost over 120 lbs.  During that time he has competed in over 100 races including road races, cycling tours, marathons, triathlons, and even a half ironman!  Matthew is an avid cyclist who has 3 road bikes. They even have their own room in his apartment.  When he is not busy training.  Matt enjoys Chipotle, playing Call of Duty, craft beer, NASCAR, and our local sports teams.

Brian Michal

 Blog Homepage; @BrianMichal6


  • I am graduate student who first started running in 2000 when I joined the middle school cross country team.  I’m primarily a shorter distance guy and run mostly 5ks.  I enjoy racing and training to get faster and those are the things I focus on in my blog.  I also love running with my wife, who coaches cross country at North Olmsted High School (go Eagles!).  When we’re not running we’re usually hanging out with our cats.  I’m looking forward to running my first 10k and my first Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon event!

Heather Mursch

Blog Homepage; @Heatha262


  • Hi!  I'm a simple Cleveland girl striving to balance being a good mom and wife while working full-time, training for races, and attending Crossfit!  I consider the Cleveland Marathon my "first" marathon since it was the greatest marathon experience ever (in 2010).  I've participated in Cleveland Marathon weekend for almost 10 years now and don't plan on stopping anytime soon!  Even though my knees have given up on long distance running, I'm still running short and sweet and I've fallen in love with Crossfit!  Outside of running and Crossfit, I love a good challenge, Lululemon, Sperry's, cupcakes, Reebok, and Marc Jacobs.  I always speak my mind and am without a doubt a goal-oriented person.  Life is all about experiences - I tell my son almost every day "Try before you cry!".

Michelle Moore

Blog Homepage; @run_bake_blog


  • Hi! My name is Michelle and I have been running for just over a year and a half. I am a Michigander, runner, blogger, mom, grad student and social media addict. I have stuck mostly with 5k's because I am too stubborn to move on until I like my finish times (results driven, right?!). I believe I have run over 30 5k's since July '12. I will be running my first Half marathon in Michigan on May 4th. This is my 2nd year blogging for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, but was unable to run last year and can hardly wait for 2014!

Joe Fell

Half Marathon
Blog Homepage; @ClevelandJoe


  • Hey everyone! I'm Joe Fell. I'm a proud lifelong resident of Cleveland, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to once again serve as an Official Blogger for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. Two years ago, if you told me that I would be an avid runner, I would have laughed at you. I was 30 pounds overweight and completely out of shape. Additionally, I was on a fast track to a life full of major health problems. I also laughed scornfully at those who drove around with 13.1 and 26.2 stickers on their cars and I thought running was a completely pointless hobby. Fast forward two years later, and I've become one of those individuals with 13.1 and 26.2 stickers proudly displayed on their bumper! During these past two years, I've lost over 25 pounds, completely adopted a new outlook on eating, and become someone who genuinely loves to run. Although I was dead set against running my first 5K in the summer of 2012, I quickly found that running is an incredibly fulfilling and empowering sport with benefits that go far beyond the shiny medals that we will receive in May when we cross the finish line, and I've never looked back. Since I started running in June 2012, I've completed one full marathon, two half marathons, and many other races of varying distances. In 2013, I ran my first half marathon at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I can't wait to get out there again this year and enjoy the miles through my favorite city in the world! Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about training, the race itself, or any other running-related topics - I'm happy to help all of you have a successful and happy race day!

Karen Willuweit

Full Marathon

Blog Homepage;@TradingHeels 


  • Hi. I am Karen and I blog at Trading In My Heels. I am so excited to be blogging for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. I live in the Chicagoland area with my husband and 2 beautiful children. I began running in 2010 after signing up for my first 5K. I haven’t looked back since. Running is my passion and sharing what I have learned along the way has brought me the greatest satisfaction. This will be my 4th marathon in less than 2 years. I love being part of the incredible running community and all it has done for me. Running has taught me that anything is possible in life, if you work hard enough. I look forward to traveling to Cleveland in May and running the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.

Jamie Johnston

Half Marathon

Blog Homepage


  • Hi!  I am Jamie Johnston and I am ecstatic to say I will be completing my 2nd Cleveland ½ Marathon.  After losing over 180lbs (over 1/2 of me!) I ran the Cleveland ½ marathon for the first time last year (2013).  This year I hope to crush my 1:53 finish!  I have to say I am forever grateful to the city of Cleveland and the organizers of the Cleveland Marathon.  While running my ½ last year I was amazed by everyone’s support, encouragement, and let’s face it you all are pretty creative with your signs!! I am an Assistant Dean of Students at Cleveland State University, a wife, mother to two furbabies, daughter, lululemon addict, baker, and cupcake lover!  I love cupcakes so much that my husband had one waiting for me at the Cleveland ½ finish line (yea he’s pretty much the BEST supporter EVER) ! I look forward to sharing my journey to the ½ with you all.  I also hope we can encourage and support one another was we prepare for this AMAZING event.  Feel free to comment, lurk, or have a cupcake waiting for me at the finish.  Let’s do this CLEVELAND =) 

Renessa Banks

Blog Homepage; @KNOTTY_NESS


  • I am a mother to two awesome children (The Joes). I am also a social worker at an outpatient HIV clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.  I started running a few years ago to stay healthy and to keep up with my very active Joes. I’ve run one half, one quarter, 3 10Ks and a few 5Ks. I have run the Cleveland Rite Aid Marathon 10K 3 times.I love discovering new things my body is capable of. I am a slower runner but take pride in the fact that I once ran continuously for 2 hours and 48 minutes without walking (half marathon). I look forward to sharing my training journey with you.

Christine Cassar

Full Marathon

Blog Homepage; @ratherbsweating


  • Christine (better known as Chris), an Ohio native, grew up in Farmdale, Ohio, graduated from Baldwin Wallace College and now pounds the pavement in the Washington, DC and Virginia area. Chris was never into running growing up. In fact, in elementary school, she came in last in a Turkey Trot and figured running just wasn't "her thing." After a successful volleyball and basketball career, Chris moved to Washington, DC and caught the running bug after watching her then boyfriend (now husband) run  the Marine Corps Marathon in 2004. Chris started out running various 10-mile races and in 2009 she ran her first marathon: the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. During her first marathon, many times Chris asked herself, "why did I sign up for this?" and then after crossing the finish she told herself, "time to sign up for another!"

    After her first marathon, Chris ran the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon two more times and the Marine Corps Marathon twice as well (in 2012 she ran it 4-months post-baby!). While dealing with injuries in 2013, Chris ran a few 10-mile races and half-marathons but missed the emotions that came with training and running a full marathon. She is back in 2014 to run a marathon where it all began: Cleveland! Chris will also have a great training partner: her 18-month old daughter Addison, who will be cheering her on in the jogging stroller!

Jessica Corson

Guest Post: Feb 15 

Blog Homepage; @anchoredinCLE


  • Jessica is a beginner runner training for her first 10K. She blogs about her health & fitness journey, life in CLE, and more at Anchored in CLE.

Stephani Itibrout

Guest Post: March 30

Blog Homepage; @itibrout 


  • I am a mother, wife, and teacher.  Running is what keeps me sane in a crazy world, and as the blog title suggests, it usually keeps me out of trouble.  I write about my adventures in running in the Summit County MetroParks, fitness faux pas I have committed, and awkward moments I've had with my running peeps, The Ohio Runners Network.  Follow me on Twitter @itibrout .

Catherine Bosley

Guest Post: April 15

Facebook Page; @CBosley19


  • Catherine Bosley joined the 19 Action News team in April 2005. She's an Ashtabula County native and a Kent State University cum laude graduate. Her number one hobby is running! She has ten marathons under her belt and plans to add many more with hopes of someday qualifying for the famous Boston Marathon. With all that time running…it would make sense that's how she met her husband, also a runner.  


Erin Vandenberg

Guest Post: April 21

Blog Homepage; @looplooks



  • After graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio over 10 years ago, Erin Vandenberg moved back to Illinois and currently lives and runs in Chicago. She's been running since 2007 and has completed 4 full marathons, 13 half marathons, and numerous other races. In 2011 she helped one of her best friends who currently lives in Cleveland complete her first 10K at the Cleveland Marathon event. This year at the Cleveland Marathon she'll be helping that same friend complete her first half marathon! When Erin isn't running she loves strength training, watching tv shows on Netflix with her husband, finding new and fun places to drink wine and extolling the virtues of the women's running gear company Swirlgear as a Swirlgear ambassador.


Debi Lantzer

Guest Post: April 30

Blog Homepage; @DebiL1611


  • I'm a grandmother, mother, church drummer and re-committed runner formerly from the Cleveland, Ohio area.
    August 28, 2012
     I was in
    volved in
    a near-fatal car accident.
    Prior to that accident, I
     was an active half marathon
    As a result of
    I sustained (
    open book pelvic fracture, crushed knee, fractured knee, sacrum
    tailbone, nose, and fractured eye orbit
    ), and the hardware remaining in my body today,
    I was told
    by doctors that
    I would never
    be able to
    run again
    .  Despite that prognosis, on October 27, 2013, I ran/walked my first half marathon, and another 2 in December.  
    I am registered for a minimum
    14 half marathons in 2014 both local and nationwide, a
    5ks and 10ks.
    Please stop by my blog at http://14-in-2014.com

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