3.8.11 - Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Introduces New Course for 2011
Course features new start and finish outside Cleveland Browns Stadium
CLEVELAND (March 8, 2011) – After months of planning and negotiating, the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon has announced its new course for the 34th annual event on May 15, 2011. The new start and finish lines are in the North Coast Harbor, which features the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Great Lakes Science Center and Cleveland Browns Stadium.
“When we learned that construction of the new Cleveland Medical Mart would force us to move the finish line, the North Coast Harbor is the first place that came to mind due to runner requests,” said Executive Director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Jack Staph. “Experiencing this part of the city of Cleveland will be a thrill for our runners and walkers, and really showcases our great city.”
Since last summer, the organizers of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon have been working with Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition, city officials, Cleveland City Council, RTA and the three North Coast Harbor organizations to determine the best route to incorporate the city’s landmarks and most active neighborhoods, and minimize the interruption to motorist traffic, all while keeping the course flat and fast.
“We’ve kept some of the favorite areas of the course, like the Ohio City and Tremont section that was added in 2010,” said Staph. “And, of course we still run by Lake Erie and Edgewater Park. Full marathoners will also run through the Cultural Gardens on a trip up Martin Luther King Boulevard again – another runner-favorite. Neighborhood cheering sections will be active in many of the local neighborhoods along the course to support the runners.
“Coordinating a course through Cleveland with the lake to the north and the industrial area to the south can be tricky. There are not a lot of roads to use that are large enough for 19,000 runners, and most of those are main access points for organizations like our sports teams, theaters and North Coast Harbor partners who are also doing business on race day,” said Staph. “However, the Rock Hall, Science Center and Browns have been very accommodating and welcoming to the runners’ new start and finish line area – which is quite helpful.”
Jim Ross, senior vice president at the Cleveland Browns said, “We are excited that Cleveland Browns Stadium will be a focal point of one of the city's largest annual events. With our organization's commitment to youth health and fitness, we feel as though it is a natural fit that the 5K and Kids' Run will be run on our playing field. The fact that the 26.3-mile finish line party will be taking place near the concourse also gives us a chance to showcase our stadium and many of its amenities to the thousands of runners and their supporters. We look forward to hosting what should be a fun weekend for everyone.”
“The ground level access into the Cleveland Browns Stadium is about one road lane wide, and the marathon, half marathon and 10K finish line needs a width of four to five road lanes to accommodate all of the finishers,” said Ralph Staph, race director for the Cleveland Marathon. “Therefore, unfortunately we can’t take Sunday’s finishers onto the field, but we think they’ll really love the new location of the finish line and party near the stadium concourse. Of course the 5K finish and Kids’ Run, both on Saturday, on the field will be a thrill for everyone.”
Linda Abraham-Silver, president and CEO at Great Lakes Science Center said, “We are pleased to support the marathon and the runners. We look forward to sharing our beautiful North Coast Harbor location with the runners and their families. Great Lakes Science Center is a perfect place for spectators to spend time during this celebratory day.”
“The marathon is representative of the vitality that’s happening in downtown Cleveland,” said Todd Mesek, vice president of marketing and communications for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “The race weekend will be filled with activity in North Coast Harbor, including the opening of our new Women Who Rock exhibit.”
Currently, registration for the 34th annual event is up 40 percent from the same time last year. Race organizers are expecting another year of record registration, with nearly 19,000 runners and walkers expected – up from 15,600 in 2010. The race has caps in place and they are filling up quickly, with the half marathon having the most registrants. Interested participants are encouraged to register early to avoid being shut out.
The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon offers the following opportunities for people to participate in the event: full marathon, half marathon, 10K, full marathon walking division, half marathon walking division, 10K walking division, 5K (run or walk) and Kids’ Run. The events take place May 14 and 15, 2011. To register for any of the events, or learn more, visit www.clevelandmarathon.com.
There are also opportunities for non-profit organizations to raise funds through their participation in the race through Cleveland Marathon Charities, for which information can also be found on the marathon’s website.
About the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K
The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K is in its 34th year of providing a running experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities. More than 280,000 runners have participated, generating more than $15 million annually to benefit the Cleveland community.
· To provide a running experience for all individuals who want to participate regardless of their abilities.
· To produce an event that highlights the Cleveland community and provides a positive economic impact for the community.
· To give charities an opportunity to benefit financially from the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K events.
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