Course Descriptions & Vital Info
Towpath Half Marathon
Featuring three-mile, five-mile and half marathon race lengths
The opening race of the Towpath Trilogy
Date: Sunday, April 9, 2017- 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.)
View a map of the Half Marathon course.
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)
View a map of the Five Mile course.
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 heads 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
- Runners need to know their race course. Please read descriptions and check out maps on this website.
- Runners should visit this website frequently and refer to FAQ section and News for updates.
- Runners must know their starting lines and parking sites.
- For Half Marathoners and 3-Milers, 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 available in some lots directing traffic. Buses will be available at the post party location to shuttle half runners back to their cars after the race.
- For 5 Milers- please look for Towpath Parking signs (yellow signs with red lettering) and volunteers in neon green vests directing traffic into available lots on Harvard Avenue. There will be plenty of parking available at the Alcoa parking lot located on Harvard Ave. (South side) across from Speedway. 5 Mile runners will have to walk approx. 6/10 of a mile to their start line located on the corner of Jennings Rd. and Harvard Ave. under the Harvard Ave Bridge. Busses will be available to shuttle runners to their start lines
- 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 Miler walkers will start at 7:30am. 3-Miler walkers can start at 7:45 am.
- Walkers must complete the course by 11:00 am.
- We have limited parking. Carpool when possible.
- The race is run on a 12-foot wide trail. Bear right whenever possible.
- Be aware of passing fast runners. 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. You get the shirt you ordered. We cannot exchange once they’re ordered.
- For Half Marathon and 3-Miler runners, we do not provide bus shuttle service to the start lines. So runners are responsible for getting themselves to the start line.
- 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 9am.
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 – 8:10am 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 7:30am.
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 9
6:00 am – 7:00 am – Day-of Registration, Limited Availability
7:00 am – Half Marathon Walkers start.
7:30 am – Roads Close
7:30 am – 5-Miler Walkers start
7:45 am – 3-Miler Walkers start
8:00 am – Half Marathon / 3-Miler begin
8:00 am – 5-Miler 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.
- 5-mile Runners: RTA is providing a parking lot located on Harvard Avenue. Look for Towpath Parking signs. Shuttle buses can transport you from the parking lot to the start. They will also take you back following the race – go to Post Party area for shuttles – Iron City Café. Shuttles will run starting at 9 am.
- 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 shuttle at Post Race Party – Iron City Café – located at the intersection of Jennings Rd. and Harvard Ave. starting at 9:00 am.
- 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 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 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 – 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.