Cleveland Marathon Race Series Weekend – Part 1 of 3

It feels like forever since I actually wrote about a race….so it feels pretty good to get this one going. It’s that time of year for me – the annual running of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Race Series. For the race itself, this year marked its 40th year of running.  Can you believe it? 40 years! That makes the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon one of the oldest 50 races in the United States!

This year, I flew up from Florida on Wednesday night after work. I was able to join in taking my grandson to school Thursday morning and then my DIL and I headed to the nail salon for a much needed pedi. I’ll spare you the details of the day, but I will share my awesome blue race toes:

On Friday, I headed down to the race expo which, as always, was pretty awesome. I ran into fellow race ambassadors, Jill and Brian, at their shared booth where they each had copies of their books available for sale (and autograph!). I also saw a few of the key people that put together the Cleveland Marathon – Kayla, Joan and Mr. Staph himself.  I started to introduce myself to Mr. Staph, he put up his hand and i said, “I know who you are, you’re our ambassador from Florida”.  Bam! He did know me.  I felt slightly important at that moment. 

After a little browsing, schmoozing, and chatting, I remembered that I hadn’t looked up my race number so I headed back upstairs. I looked up my number and came back downstairs to the expo to pick up my race packets for the 8K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday, as I was doing the 8k/half challenge.  After I made my way through the expo, I realized I hadn’t picked up my friend’s packet that I promised I would pick up, so I headed back upstairs, looked up her number, and went downstairs to pick up her half marathon packet.  While I was upstairs I saw this sign on the window.  When I got closer, I realized it was composed of everyone’s names, and yes, I just had to find mine!

I headed back to my son’s house in Mentor, changed clothes, spruced up and drove right back downtown with my son for the VIP dinner at the beautiful Hyatt downtown. It’s one of the events I look forward to the most, because I get to see all my fellow race ambassadors and catch up from last year, have a great meal, and mingle with the rest of the folks.

Several awesome things happened at the VIP dinner this year: (1) Ralph received an award; (2) a group of men were introduced as legacy runners, having run every single year of the race – all 40! and (3) Fellow ambassador, Melissa got engaged after our group photo – oh, and here’s the group photo showing that runners DO clean up nice 🙂

After the VIP dinner, we headed home to rest up and get ready for the 8K on Saturday morning.  I laid out Flat Debi and took a photo to upload to Facebook and then hit the sack. 

Be sure to come back tomorrow and read about Saturday’s 8K!

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