United States

Cleveland, OH

A comprehensive guide to running in Cleveland

Cleveland is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city has been undergoing a rejuvenation of late, which has improved the options for running in Cleveland.

Many of the best places to run in Cleveland are accessible from downtown, including the beautifully restored Lake Erie and Cuyahoga River waterfronts, incorporating a 15-mile bike path and a 60-mile string of parks and treed greenbelts known as “the Emerald Necklace”.  Another great running area is Rockefeller Park from downtown out to University Circle, and enjoy a loop around Cleveland’s universities and art institutions. For residential running, the Shaker Heights neighborhood is a bucolic favorite. The Towpath Trail begins in Cleveland and runs for 84 miles into the heart of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

If you’re hoping to access all the parks that Cleveland has to offer, it is best to have a car. However, Cleveland has a well developed bus and light rail transit system, so getting around the city on public transit within the main metro area is easy. The Airport is only about 12 miles away from downtown and is accessible through public transit.

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Typical of the Great Lakes region, Cleveland has four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid while winters are cold and snowy. From mid-November until Lake Erie freezes (usually in late January or early February), lake effect snow is typical in Cleveland. In the Snow Belt, extending from Cleveland’s East Side to Buffalo, it is not uncommon for seasonal snow totals approaching 100 inches. However, the West Side of the City is less burdened by snow. Frequent thunderstorms are common especially during spring and early summer. Depending on the season, be prepared for the weather.

Cleveland’s downtown area is focused near the Lake Erie shore. The main portion of hotels are clustered in this area near the Cleveland Brown’s Stadium and Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Hotels in this area have easy access to the Downtown Waterfront Loop and Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway. A second cluster of hotels are located near University Circle where Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Wade Park and Case Western Reserve University are located. The Rockefeller Park and Shaker Lakes routes are accessible from these hotels without a car. The Lakewood neighborhood hosts a few hotels which are close to Edgewater Park. Of course, there are a few hotels near the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Airport hotels are conveniently located near Rocky River Reservation.


West of Downtown

2nd Sole Rocky River. Home to Sole Train Run Group. This group is free, open to the public and meets five times a week.

Fleet Feet Sports Westlake. Hosts a pub run the 3rd Wednesday of every month, see website for meeting point and details

South of Downtown

Fleet Feet Sports Northfield and Strongsville. Hosts monthly pub run, see website for meeting point and details

Vertical Runner Brecksville and Hudson. Hosts group trail runs, see website for groups and details

East of Downtown

Fleet Feet Sports Pepper Pike. Hosts monthly pub run, see website for meeting point and details.

Second Sole Athletic Footwear Lyndhurst and Mentor. Home to the Second Sole Striders. Group meets Wednesday and Sundays, see Facebook for details.

Achilles Running Shop. Mentor. Hosts group runs between 2–5 miles checkFacebook for details.

Northeast Running Club Hosts group runs Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturdays. Check Facebook for up-to-date details.

Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in Cleveland, OH

Cleveland has a very active running community and that leads to frequent running events!
Events Calendars #1. Events Calendar #2

Some of the major events are:

Cleveland Marathon May. Also a half marathon, 10K and 8K.

The Towpath TrilogyRace series to benefit trail development

  • Towpath Half Marathon April. Also 3 mile and 5 mile race.
  • Towpath Ten-Ten June. 10K and 10 mile
  • Towpath Marathon October. Also 10K, half-marathon.

Rock Hall Half Marathon August. With the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as the event’s title sponsor, this race is guaranteed to end your summer with a blast!

Buckeye Half Marathon. October. Popular half-marathon and two-person relay.

Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler April. At Edgewater Park.

Cleveland Turkey Trot Thanksgiving. 5K and 5 miler.