CLEVELAND — The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon is known as a flat, fun race in the running community. Measured and certified, some runners use it to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Channel 3’s resident runners, Dorsena Drakeford and Matt Wintz put on their race day shoes to check out the course.
Matt: “We are excited to bring you the 2019 version of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on Channel 3 and wkyc.com this year.”
Dorsena: “Twenty-six-point-two miles! You are going to be able to watch these people run. It’s going to be amazing, which is why we are here to give you a kind of tour of what to expect. You ready to go?”
Matt: “Yeah, no time like the present. You hydrated?”
Dorsena: “I hope so. We will find out”.
The marathon, half marathon, 10k and wheelchair division all get going near the Northwest corner of Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse (formerly Quicken Loans Arena). The wheelchair division gets going at 6:50 a.m. with the rest of the field taking off at 7:00 a.m. Make sure you wave to Channel 3 as you pass by the start.
Our first stop, First Energy Stadium, between the 2 and 3 mile markers.
Matt: “Okay Dorsena, so we got done with downtown, beautiful buildings and we are heading into mile 3 here. Browns Stadium, our first uphill. Are you ready for this?”
Dorsena: “Yup, as ready as I am ever going to be.”
Matt: “Yeah, I’m not ready either.”
After conquering the hill, the route takes marathoners through the west end of downtown Cleveland, through Tremont, Ohio City then west heading toward Lakewood.
At the halfway mark on W. 115th, we got an update.
Dorsena: “How are you feeling?”
Matt: “Not good at all, how about you?”
Dorsena: “I’m good. This is about the halfway point. 115th street.”
Matt: “Whew! That is good.”
Dorsena: “Hope our playlist is going strong!”
Matt: “Yeah, my battery died on my phone.”
From W. 115th marathoners head west on Clifton, cross over into Rocky River and turn around right by Wild Flour Bakery in Rocky River.
The course cuts down to Cliff Drive around mile 22, which offers some spectacular views!
Matt: “All right Dorsena, we just did the long out and back toward Clifton and now we are heading into the home stretch, just past mile 22.”
Dorsena: “Yeah, I know we are not supposed to stop, but look at this view.”
Matt: “I can’t not! We should probably stop. Okay.”
The last few miles takes runners by Edgewater Park, onto the Shoreway, with a right onto West 73rd and left onto Detroit.
A welcome sight, the finish line is at Superior Avenue and West 3rd, right by Public Square.
Matt: “Dorsena, you did a really nice job.”
Dorsena: “I appreciate that. You know beating you always feels good.”
Matt: “Yeah, that was not fair. What was your favorite part of the course?”
Dorsena: “I have to say Playhouse Square. Beautiful buildings, very scenic. What was your favorite part? “
Matt: “Loved the downhill at the end. So you go up the bridge and you are getting tired, but you see the finish line ahead. Downhill the last mile and a half was the best.”
Dorsena: “That’s right. Makes you go a little bit faster. Well for you guys who are running the marathon, we are going to have it live on Channel 3 and wkyc.com, starting Sunday at 6 am.”
Matt: That’s right! Come cheer us on!”.