Cleveland Marathon runners. Photo by Ryan Haidet, WKYC-TV.
Listed in Running Times as one of the most "runner-friendly" races in the country, the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon returns to downtown Cleveland this weekend for its 36th running. Here is what runners and spectators should know before picking up their packets or heading downtown for this weekend's races.
Runners: Packet pickup
All race participants have to pick up their bibs, timing device and shirts at the free Health and Fitness Expo at the IX Center. Parking there is free this year. You can pick up your packets Friday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
You must show a valid ID in order to pick up your packet, so please be sure to bring it along. If you are picking up packets for other runners, you must bring a photocopy of their ID as well.
5K and Kids' Run packet pickup is also available at the FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns, prior to each race, beginning at 6:30 am for the 5K and 9:30 am for the Kids' Run.
Race officials say all runners MUST be downtown before 6 a.m., because many of the roads will be shut down then. Parking is available in any lot that is open to the public.
A great option for getting to the race is the RTA Waterfront Line. It will be running early on race day and the W. 3rd stop is 500 feet from the start line. Click here for more information.
Here is a list of six parking lots close to the start and finish line:
Cleveland Muni Lot - $5 opens at 5 a.m.
1500 S. Marginal Rd. Cleveland, OH 44114
Ampco System Parking Lot 8003
1101 W 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44113
Ampco System Parking Lot 8139
600 Front Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113
North Point Garage
1111 E 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44114
Erieview Tower Garage
100 Erieview Plaza, Cleveland, OH 44114
Burke Airport Parking Lot
1501 N Marginal Rd., Cleveland, OH 44114
Keep in mind, access to many of these lots will be limited during the running of the 10K, the half marathon and the marathon. So please plan accordingly.
An interactive map of downtown parking options can be found here.
Nothing motivates the runners more than the cheering of spectators lining the race course. Here's a list of the best places to watch and cheer on family and friends.
There are also a number of neighborhood parties along the race course that are open to the public. Check out where you can join the fun here.
For a complete list of the weekend's races and events, click here.