39th Annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

Sunday, May 15, 2016
40°F, 7:00am downtown Cleveland

Sunday was definitely chilly, no doubt about it. We kept telling ourselves that it was actually a good running temperature, though, and that it would ultimately be a good day. While those are both true, if you were conscious anywhere near Cleveland on Sunday morning, you know that the weather was not so kind to us.

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Pre-race. We had no idea what was coming.
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Ominous sky…somewhat reminiscent of our photo we shared last year…

K: For me, the first half of the race was great! I cruised along and the crowd seemed to thin out pretty quickly, so getting around people was a lot easier than what I anticipated. There were a few snow showers and some hail during the first 5 miles, but for the most part, I was able to laugh it off. “Ha, Cleveland, so silly. It’s May!” But then around miles 7-9, I began to realize that nothing was changing and that the weather was, in fact, getting worse. Getting pelted in the face by rain is one thing, but then when the hail started to intensify, I began to worry. Things weren’t pleasant, but they also weren’t the worst until around miles 10 and 11 when I started to realize the feeling in my hands was going away. And, of course, the last couple of miles included some whopping hills, which discouraged me even more, as I tried to pump my legs faster and just reach the finish line. It felt like the faster I went, the heavier the hail was. At this point, I wasn’t feeling strong anymore. My left knee was definitely becoming inflamed and I had to stop for about 5 seconds to walk and loosen it up as it became stiffer heading up the hills in the cold. When I could finally see the finish line, I ran through the deep puddles of water without a care. My feet were already soaked, I couldn’t feel my hands, and I needed a bathroom ASAP.

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Could the weather on Sunday have been more CLE?

I tried to get water and chocolate milk from the volunteers, but my hands just weren’t working. When I finally got situated, my dad and E walked me to the car, where I complained about how the sun was finally coming out and I had just run through the worst of the weather we had that morning.

In the end, I was shocked that I made a PR and got the feeling in my hands back. I think a lot of people could agree that this was one of the toughest races we’ve seen in Cleveland in awhile. From what I hear a lot of people dropped out of the full marathon and I don’t blame them. But, no matter what your distance or time was on Sunday, it was an amazing feat to just run and get through what the awful weather gods threw at us.

R: Well I don’t know how much more to say about the weather that hasn’t already been said. It was so bad it was kind of funny. My favorite part was that it cleared up / warmed up just a few hours later! So really, the cold, hail, and sleet arrived just in time to cheer us on during the race, and left promptly after. Thanks for your support!

So weather aside, this was still a really fun race actually. Just as K said, the first five seemed to breeze by. I did end up having some technological difficulties around mile 7 – leading to me finishing the rest of the half with no music or tracking! Especially for me, on such an important run, that felt like a tech detox of sorts.

Huge shout out from both of us to all of the volunteers! We runners torture ourselves regularly, but the volunteers are the brave ones! They cheered us on and made sure we were hydrated, energized, and taken care of all morning – all while enduring the horrible weather!

This race was a tough one, but we still enjoyed ourselves and are already looking forward to next year…and whatever the weather may hold for us.

-K&R

Last year.

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