The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, which draws more than 20,000 participants annually, has announced that the course for its 37th annual event on May 18, 2014 will be updated.
One noticeable difference will be the move from away from the FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Cleveland Browns, as the location of the start and finish lines.
The stadium will be undergoing construction projects in the spring of 2014 and therefore the venue will not be available.
Race personnel are in conversations with a few downtown venues that could serve as the new start and finish locations for this year's events.
Race officials, who frequently seek feedback from participants regarding the event, course and other details of the race, received input on potential course changes being considered through a participant survey posted on its website and Facebook page in December.
"Another aspect of the course that was up for consideration was dropping the east side and keeping all three Sunday courses (10K, half marathon and full marathon) on the west side of the city," said Ralph Staph, race director.
"Survey respondents overwhelmingly supported this idea and it will go into effect for this year's course."
Marathon staff have been working with the cities of Lakewood and Rocky River on identifying the best options for the course to go through those cities before returning back to Cleveland city limits.
"Planning a course is a very complicated and complex process," Staph said. "Folks don't realize how many details go into finding, securing, measuring and getting approval for all the roads that each of the courses affects. So, we appreciate the runner feedback, as it helps us gauge what matters to them – but we hope they understand that not all suggestions can be logistically accommodated."
Race officials have spent the better part of the past four months working through potential courses for each of the three races and negotiating with potential partners on start and finish locations for the 2014 event. The announcement on the final course will be made as soon as the courses receive approval from the city and each partner.
The 10K event, which held a world record for many years, will offer finishers a medal in 2014 for the first time in the event's history. Participants often requested a medal be offered in the 10K event, particularly due to the popularity of the race's spinning guitar finisher's medals in the half and full.
There is a $5 discount available to those who register for the 10K event before Feb. 1. The code "RUNCLE10K" can be entered during registration at www.clevelandmarathon.com/Registration.
The event, which draws a few thousand participants annually to it's walking divisions of the 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon course, will be changing the length of time the course is open from eight hours to seven hours for the full marathon. The half marathon course will remain open for four hours, as in the past.
One of the 50 oldest races in the country, the 2014 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon will take place May 17-18.
The following opportunities are available 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.
Online registration and further information is available at www.clevelandmarathon.com.
Last year, the half marathon sold out for the third year in a row and the marathon, 10K and 5K came close to reaching their respective caps as well. 20,134 people competed in the 2013 events over the course of the weekend. Race organizers are expecting more than 20,000 participants for the 37th annual event in May.
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.