Course Descriptions & Vital Info
Towpath Half Marathon
The opening race of the Towpath Trilogy
Featuring three-mile, five-mile, and half marathon race lengths
Date: Sunday, April 7, 2019- 8:00 am
5-Miler Location: Intersection of Lower Harvard and Jennings, Cleveland, Ohio (Get Directions)
Half Marathon Course Description
The Half Marathon course includes some of the most scenic areas within the Cleveland Metroparks Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation. The course interfaces with the historic Canal and the Cuyahoga River- it’s a run through nature and a romp through history.
The race starts on the driveway for the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation just off East 49 Street in Cuyahoga Heights. Runners will assemble in the park prior to start. Participants run down the driveway of the Canal Reservation then turn right onto the Towpath Trail entrance located near the Leonard Kreiger Canalway Center. Runners then turn left (south) onto the Towpath Trail, cross the two suspension bridges and continue until they reach the turn-around, on West Canal just past the intersection of Fosdick Road.
Runners return north on the Towpath Trail over the 2 bridges to a natural turn-around located at the northern section of the Canal Reservation. From here, runners will follow a corkscrew course. They run south to the loop trail just below the point where they entered the Towpath Trail, running north to the Finish Line, located in the Harvard Avenue trailhead.
Half Marathon course runners should follow mile marker and directional signs (yellow signs with red letters.)
Towpath Half, 5-Mile Run Course Description
The Five-Mile race course begin taking runners east on Lower Harvard Ave to enter the Towpath Trail. The course includes an out-and-back design that utilizes the natural loop found below the Leonard Kreiger Canalway Center. Runners return to a common Finish Line at the Lower Harvard trailhead.
Runners should follow direction signs (white signs with green letters)
Towpath Half, 3-Mile Run Course Description
The 3 Mile race starts on the entry driveway to the Cleveland Metroparks Canal Reservation – located off East 49th Street in Cuyahoga Heights. This is the same start for the half marathon length runners.
Runners will assemble in the park on East 49 Street prior to start – look for the baseball diamond. 3 Milers will run down the driveway of the Cleveland Metroparks Canal Reservation before turning right to follow the Towpath Trail entrance located near Kreiger Canalway Center. Runners will cross the pedestrian bridge over the canal and turn right (north) onto Towpath Trail. The course follows the river – up a hill as they head towards the Finish Line = Towpath trailhead located on lower Harvard Avenue. Follow directions presented on white signs/ black numbers and letters. Runners should follow mile marker and directional signs (White signs, Black letters).
Important Things to Note
- Please read descriptions and check out maps on this website.
- Visit this website frequently and check the FAQ section and News for questions, concerns and updates.
- Please be aware of your starting line and parking sites.
- For Half Marathoner Runners and 3-Mile Runners, park in parking lots located along East 49 Street. Please look for Towpath Parking signs (yellow signs with red lettering). Early arrivals will be parked within the Canal Reservation – driveway closes by 7:30 am.
- Volunteers in neon green vests will be directing traffic. Buses will be available at the post party location to shuttle half runners back to their cars after the race.
- 5 Mile runners can park at the BASF lot near the start line. Please look for yellow signs/red letters that read Towpath Parking. Volunteers in neon vests will be on site to help direct cars.
- Runners should be on site for the race by 7:15 am.
- We do not have a “WALKERS DIVISION” for these races.
- We do accommodate Half Marathon walkers by allowing them to use an early start time of 7:00 am. 5 Mile walkers will start at 7:30 am. 3-Mile walkers can start at 7:45 am.
- Walkers must complete the course by 11:00 am.
- The race is run on a 12-foot wide trail. Bear right whenever possible.
- Runners run in both direction on portions of the trail.
- Half Marathon course and aid stations will be open for 3 hours: 8:00 am-11:00 am.
- To ensure a desired shirt size you must sign up by March 15th. We make no guarantees for those who sign up after. We cannot exchange sizes once they’re ordered.
- For Half Marathon and 3-Mile Runners, we do not provide bus shuttle service to the start lines.
- Award Ceremony location is 4002 Jennings Rd. Cleveland (get directions).
The half-marathon will begin at 8:00 am from the driveway to the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation off of E.49th St. Due to road closures, runners must be at the start line at 7:30 am. The Half Marathoners will be shuttled from the Finish Line area at lower Harvard/Jennings Road to their cars parked on E. 49th St. near Grant Ave. Buses will begin the shuttle service at 9 am.
5-Miler Starting Location: 4002 Jennings Rd. Cleveland. This is at the intersection of Jennings Avenue & lower Harvard Avenue (get directions). Lower Harvard & Jennings roads will close at 7:45 am – 8:10 am to accommodate start of 5-Miler. The 5-Miler will start at 8:00 am from the intersection of lower Harvard Avenue/ Jennings Road. Due to road closures, runners must be at the start line at 7:30 am. 5 Miler walkers will begin at 7:30 am.
The 3-Miler will begin at 8:00 am from the driveway to the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation off of E. 49th St, just south of Grant Avenue. Due to road closures, runners must be at the start line at 7:45 am.
Schedule of Events
Sunday, April 7, 2019
6:00 am – 7:00 am – Day-of Registration, Limited Availability, Packet Pickup
7:00 am – Half Marathon Walkers start.
7:30 am – Roads Close
7:30 am – 5-Mile Walkers start
7:45 am – 3-Mile Walkers start
8:00 am – Half Marathon / 3-Mile Races begin
8:00 am – 5-Mile Race begins
9:00 am – Award ceremony begins and continues at regular intervals
11:00 am – Course closes
- All Runners: look for parking signs to indicate lots. They are yellow with red letters.
- Half Marathon/ 3-Miler Runners – Runners will park in lots adjacent to East 49 Street. Lots will be marked with signs indicating “Parking” – runners will shuttled back to their cars after the race – you can catch the shuttle at the Post Race Party – Sand Bar – located at the intersection of Jennings Rd. and Harvard Ave., starting at 9:00 am.
- The only available lot for the 5 miler is the BASF lot which will be marked with yellow signs/red letters-Towpath Parking and a volunteer in a neon vest will be there directing cars. The BASF lot is very close to the start line for the 5 miler.
- What are the best driving directions to start of the 5-Mile Race?
Start location for the 5-Mile is at the intersection of lower Harvard Ave. and Jennings Rd. just across from Cleats Sports Bar.
- What are the best driving directions to the start of the Half Marathon/3-Miler on Sunday morning?
Using freeways – take I-77 to Grant Avenue exit – head west on Grant Avenue – Grant dead ends into East 49 Street – parking is located in lots along East 49th Street both south and north of intersection depending on when you arrive – look for signs that say Towpath Race Parking – start line is located to the south – gather for race in park on East 49 Street – portalets and water/Gatorade will be there.OR – Using freeways – take I-71 – exit on West 25 Street exit – head south – turn left on Dennison heading east (shell station/ McDonalds on corner)- drive over Harvard Avenue Bridge east to East 49 Street – turn right (south) onto East 49 Street – parking is located in lots along East 49 Street both south and north of intersection depending on when you arrive – look for signs that say Towpath Race Parking – start line is located to the south of Grant Avenue – gather for race in park on East 49 Street – portalets and water/Gatorade will be there.
- How do I get back to my car if I run the Half Marathon?
Shuttle buses are provided and will run from 9:00 am- 12 noon.
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Races
Please be sure to check out the page pertaining to your specific race, as these are general questions that are related to all three races.
How can I register?
Register for the races online by selecting the correct link for the race you want to run in, or feel free to print out the mail-in form for your desired race by the deadline date (please note online 2019 race registrations will open soon).
PO Box 609420
Cleveland, OH 44109
OR fax to 216-520-1833
If you have further questions or concerns on registration, please feel free to email email@example.com
After that point, the only registrations accepted will be on race day at your start line if spaces are available.
Where and when can I pick up my packet?
Packet pickup will be available at area Fleet Feet Sports (Westlake, Pepper Pike, Northfield and now Strongsville) stores from 10AM to 7PM on Wednesday 4/3 and Thursday 4/4.
There will be day-of packet pickup at the starting lines at 6:00 AM
You have the option of having your packet mailed and the fee is $10 fee. Please make sure to check the dates so that you are registered in time to be eligible for a mail out should you chose that option.
Is the course flat?
The Towpath Trail is VERY flat in some sections, but please refer to the COURSE map link for elevation chart.
What is the surface?
The surface of the Towpath Trail in the Ohio and Erie Canal reservation is asphalt.
Will any roads be closed?
Yes, generally the roads close 1/2 hour before the start of each race.
Is every mile marked along the course?
Half Marathon course runners should follow mile marker and directional signs (yellow signs with red letters.)
5 Mile runners course should follow direction signs (white signs with green letters)
3 Mile runners should follow mile marker and directional signs (White signs, Black letters).
How long is the course open?
The course will be supported with aid stations for 3 hours. We can not guarantee road closures or staffed aid stations past this time. If you are concerned that you may not finish in that time frame, you may want to consider an early start.
Can I walk the course?
We welcome walkers and encourage them to take advantage of our 7:00 start time (half) 7:30 am start time for the 5-mile runners and 7:45 am for the 3-mile walkers. Please ensure you can finish within the allotted time. The course closes at 11:00 am. We do not offer a Walkers Division so runners sometimes do a walk/run combo.
What are the age groups and who is eligible?
1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Overall Male & Female ( Half Marathon, 5 Mile and 3 Mile)
Top Master Male & Female (Half Marathon and 5 Mile)
1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Male & Female in the following age groups:
19 and under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-99 (Half Marathon and 5 Mile)
AMENITIES AND SERVICES
What do runners get?
All runners will receive a short-sleeved technical shirt and half marathoners receive finishers medals. There will be food available at no cost to runners only.
Is there food provided for spectators?
We are unable to provide food for spectators, but The Sand Bar, the restaurant where we host our post-party, offers breakfast selections.
Are there any other amenities?
At the finish-line runners will have access to massage therapists, food, live music and a cash bar – from our region’s own Great Lakes Brewing Co.
WHAT ARE THE RECOMMENDED SPECTATOR LOCATIONS?
We recommend the finish line located at the Towpath Trail Harvard Ave. Trailhead.
Are headphones permitted?
Yes. Please be mindful of other runners while wearing them, though!
Will there be a bag drop?
Yes. There will be a volunteer at the start area with duct tape and markers. Please write your bib number on the duct tape and stick on your bag. Bags will be brought to the post party location and placed alongside the building. We are not responsible for lost/stolen items, but the bags will be watched.
Where and when will the results be posted?
Results will be posted on our website within 24 hours, if not earlier.
Where can I park if I am running or a spectator?
Each of our races begin at different locations, please refer back to your race page to confirm parking.