Really looking forward to this race. It is one of the best races I have run in my 35 years of running races from New York to Florida to St. Louis and all cities in between. You do a great job. Great course, sometimes great weather and outstanding organization with the race itself...Thanks again for all of the work...
-Gordon H. Warren, Ohio
Running your first marathon requires not only arduous training but also mental single-mindedness. But
there can be distractions that are helpful to finishing the race successfully. I had been a competitive
runner for fifteen years but had not attempted a marathon. When I heard about plans for one on the
newly opened Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in 1992, I wanted to be a part of it. This beautiful path
runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Since it is near my house, I had been able to train there
Two weeks before the marathon I travelled with a group of runners to an out of town five- miler. One of
the group was a girl who was new to running and seemed interested in running a marathon some day.
After the race she proposed that she would meet me on the course and run the last mile of the Towpath
Marathon with me.
Two weeks later, the weather did not cooperate and we started the marathon with a mix of snow and
rain. I seriously doubted she would be there for the last mile but I knew I had to make it just in case.
As I was approaching the last mile she jumped from the crowed and ran alongside me to the finish. We
started training together after that for the following year’s race. Shortly thereafter we were married and
continue to run together on the wonderful Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
Last year I ran the towpath for the first time, it was also my first full marathon. While training I envisioned carrying my 12 month old son, Julian, across the finish line with my goal between 3 hr 30 min and 3 hr 45 min.. I took it easy without paying too much attention to pace but more so to my body, and finished in 3 hr 43 min with Julian in my arms. Afterward I found out that to qualify for Boston I only need to run it in 3 hr 40 minutes!! So that is my goal, a goal I never thought I'd be reaching for! I had a fantastic experience - everything was so organized and I was never thirsty because of the plentiful water stations. I have recommended this race to many people, and will be back again this year to run the half only because I just had my second baby, whom I was pregnant with at the time of last year's marathon but didn't know it! Thank you for organizing such a fantastic event, I will continue to run the towpath events every year because of my experience, pregnant or not!
Thanks for a GREAT race--this was one of my favorite marathons (Towpath was my 29th)!! Everything was so well organized, the course was beautiful with plentiful reststops and toilets, very well organized registration, friendly volunteers and AWESOME age-division-winner prizes! I love the fleece vest and the photograph--the BEST award I've ever received at a race. Good job and continued success!
-Carol K. Rubicon, WI
Really enjoyed your race. Very well organized, beautiful course and perfect weather. Ranks up there among my favorite marathons (would probably be number one if I had shaved a few more minutes off my time, but that's not your problem). Beats the heck out of Chicago...and although Columbus is terrific, you are better. Will make sure my local running community in SE Michigan knows about your little treasure.
Thanks...see you next year!
Eric & Pamela G. MI
I had the pleasure of running the Towpath Marathon for the first time yesterday. I want to tell you how much I enjoyed it (as much as a person can enjoy running a marathon I should say).
The organization of the race was great. Even with all those cars piling in at one time, the parkers did a great job. On the course there were plenty of water stops, the mile markers were very visible and the course was clearly marked. The volunteers were just incredible!!! They were so nice and so enthusiastic. The trails were amazing. I have run 8 marathons and besides Boston, this will be my favorite marathon. I am recommending the Towpath to all my fellow runners. Thank you for all the hard work that you and everyone else put in on this race.
Dave C. Notre Dame, IN
I ran my 20th marathon yesterday at Towpath and really enjoyed it. I think it's the best small marathon I've run -- and it rivals some much larger marathons for warmth and efficiency. The combination of the organization, the course, the setting and scenery, the band at the end and the ability of family and supporters to cheer runners at a few points along the way all made it very good. FABULOUS aid stations. Numerous, well-stocked, enthusiastic but not stupid volunteers.
While the race drew a lot of very experienced marathoners, it was clear that the full and half marathons welcomed newcomers, too, and provided them with adequate instructions and guidance.
I really liked going back by the start at 15 miles rather than at the halfway point. That was a spot on the course to look forward to and provided a boost of enthusiasm -- and just a mile later, we were under 10 miles to go. So often, the whole second half of a marathon is quiet and lonely, just as the miles get tough.
Nice job, and thanks.
Randy E. Detroit, MI
Thank you for such a great day at the 2009 Towpath Marathon! The course is great, the volunteers are awesome and the course amenities are more than adequate. It is a "small" marathon that beats the bigger ones across the board and in every way. I recommend it to anyone, especially those wanting to try 26.2 for the first time. This was my sixth and most enjoyable one yet. I will be back!
I just wanted you to know that our group from Chicago - 4 marathoners and 2 half-marathoners and (my husband who worked 4 waterstops) really enjoyed the race this weekend. We thought it was well run and lots of fun. Everyone was so friendly. The whole weekend from start to finish was very positive. No reason for any of us to run in a large marathon again after experiencing your race. We will all be back. Thanks again.
Sarah L. Chicago, IL
Thanks for an awesome event. Perfectly and brilliantly organized and executed. Well done!
Michael M. Cleveland Heights, OH
I want to thank you personally for such a nice day yesterday. That was a very nice job from beginning to end on a very pretty course. Your volunteers are excellent. Some people base crowd support on numbers but for me the enthusiasm beats numbers anytime. The enthusiasm yesterday equalled anything I have yet experienced.
-Dennis, Youngstown, OH
We had a fabulous time at the race! It was a beautiful course and you guys were very organized with plenty of water stops and GUs, etc. We had two other friends who ran as well and everyone loved it. For three of us, this was our first half marathon and we'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Thanks for helping us have a wonderful experience.
-Shari and Tony
I wanted to thank you for organizing such a wonderful event yesterday. I have always run larger Marathons but truly enjoyed the more personal touch of a smaller well organized event. Nice Job!
-William, North Canton, OH
Thanks for putting on such a great race. As my 17th Marathon this is now in my top 3 most enjoyable and a probable repeat. (Its hard to beat Boston and my first Boston Qualifier.)
-Jamie, Louisville, KY
I love the warmth of this race. The organizers were so helpful! Great communication, gorgeous course, fabulous volunteers and an all around perfect experience! THANK YOU!
-Beth Ann, Ohio
This was my 11th marathon and first one in mid-80's F, sunny & HUMID weather...was a bit apprehensive about that, however, shouldn't have been! Organizers were well prepared, provided a scenic, flat (and shady :-)) marathon course with lots of support throughout including a post-race beer garden. Can't say enough good things about the friendly vibe to this race and desire to provide a quality race experience for all participants. Enjoyed the flat and scenic course and visit to NE Ohio. Area is close enough to Cleveland/ Akron/ Canton areas to tie in visits to both NFL & Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fames and still maintain your taper. GREAT job all and wishing you ongoing success with this event in future. Ran Toronto Waterfront Marathon the weekend prior and enjoyed this one even more!
-Jim Daigneau, Calgary, AB, Canada
This was by far the prettiest marathon I've run - and just as long as the others - but the scenery was lovely. The marathon was very "quaint" and "small town", and it was exactly what I was looking for in contrast to bigger marathons such as Chicago or Boston or others like them. The trail was beautiful, well groomed, and I liked the surface. I wouldn't say it's a great marathon if you're looking for a time goal, but it's one of those marathons that are out of the norm and would appeal to those who want a nice balance between a good time and a great venue. Very, very pretty.
The volunteers were second-to-none. They were enthusiastic, kind-hearted, professional, and clearly a considerate group of people to give of their time such as they did. I am grateful for them because when the going got really tough I found I was looking forward to their encouraging words to get me through. Please forward on my gratitude. Without them there would be no race.
The crowd as well were friendly and it was nice that they came out to watch. You have a beautiful little town; the surrounding area (main street) is lovely. Some of the homes are magnificent; others are very Bostonian and quaint and lovely. No wonder you wish to preserve it - good for you and the organizing committee!
I would gladly run this marathon again and have already, in my mind, committed myself to run it again some day. I will promote it to everyone I know, the two groups I run with, my trail runner friends, and my running coach.
-J Windsor, London, ON, Canada
Thank you for organizing the marathon and half this weekend. It was well run from packet pickup through the post race activities, despite the heat and hot weather conditions. Please thank all of the volunteers who generously gave their time on the course Sunday, especially the crew at the Station Rd stop. I needed all the assistance by that time, and having their encouragement made the last five miles 'doable'.
Thanks very much for running a great race. In spite of the heat, it was a success for all three members of our group.
Also, a special thanks for going with the photographs and vests instead of the typical trophies. Much more interesting awards.
Thank you all for organizing a fantastic marathon. Everything was perfect and you guys handled the oppressive weather extremely well! Best wishes for everything and see you next year,
I wanted to thank you and all the volunteers for a great race under deplorable heat/humidity conditions. The course was well marked with miles, the volunteers were great, the water/gatorade was plentiful, and thanks for the GU - I didn't have to carry my own!
"Hats off to Tanya, Hermes, and all who were involved with this organized, beautiful, and superbly staffed marathon. It was a great event and should I be fortunate enough to continue running next year, this is the type of race, organization and warm hearted reception that would definitely warrant a return trip."
-Chuck Engle, "Marathon Junkie"
"I wanted to tell you how much I loved participating in the marathon. This was my second marathon, my first being the Chicago marathon last year.
Seeing as how these two marathons are on opposite ends of the spectrum I did not know what to expect but I enjoyed the experience just as much as Chicago.
My favorite aspect of your race was the "bow-tie" course. This format gave me the opportunity to see the lead runners (it always amazes me to see people run at such a quick pace for an entire 26.2 miles). It was also very encouraging to constantly pass other runners who are offering words of encouragement and cheering for you. The course is beautiful and peaceful and passing the other runners gives just the right amount of encouragement to make it through. The miles were clearly marked as were the upcoming aid stations. It was also nice that the aid station signs alerted you to what was available at that station. I liked that you had GU available at most of the aid stations."
Click here to read Tana's article in "In Passing", the Second Wind Running Club Newsletter!
"I wanted to compliment you on organizing such a great event. I live in Colorado Springs and was planning on being in Cleveland for a baby shower. I was happy to find out about this race as the timing was just perfect. It turns out that wasnt the only great thing about the race. The scenery was beautiful along the course, it was well supported with enthusiastic volunteers and lots of goodies along the way. I enjoyed it from start to finish! Thank you."
"I think that this may have been my most favorite race yet - the course was absolutely beautiful & really got me psyched for my full marathon in two weeks! I can't stop talking about it. Thank You!"
"I have to tell you that was the BEST race I have ever run, thanks for everything you did for us"
"I just want to thank you for a wonderfu job you did. The race was excellent and the arrangements were impeccable compared to some of the major international marathons. The whole ambience was just beutiful. I had great time and I had the best finishing time despite the fact I ran Toronto marathon just two weeks ago. The course was just refreshing and scenic. Thanks once again."
"I just wanted to thank you for the most beautiful race I've ever run. Yesterday was marathon #15 for me--so far I've been from W.Virginia, to Washington, to Nevada. Nothing has been quite as pleasant as the Towpath. You've got a great thing going."
"The Towpath is on my short list of races to pay a second visit to and certainly one I would recommend to friends."
"As good as it gets...."
- Frank Vriezen, 2005 Marathon Finisher
"I highly recommentd the Towpath Marathon. It is a nice event with a lot of heart."
- G.G., 2005 Marathon Finisher
"...I was very impressed with this charming and beautiful race. I travelled 600 miles from Tennessee to run it and I would definitely do it again."
- K.B., 2005 Marathon Finisher
Several races are justifiably well known for their spectacular scenery. . . With autumn colors at their peak, this was one of the most beautiful runs I've ever done. The entire valley was aflame with bright reds, oranges, golds, and yellows. "
- Dan Horvath, in Marathon & Beyond, July/August 2004 Issue
"I wanted to let all involved with the race know how much I enjoyed it. I've been to marathons in several states, and this was a great experience from start to finish. The course was beautiful. . . Thanks for all of your efforts."
- Jim Halsey, 2004 Towpath Marathon Finisher
"This was an excellent marathon, with plenty of fluids and other support along the way. The website and the information we received in our packets were clear. Plenty of parking. More than enough food and drink at the end. Really First Class."
- Libby Wolf, 2004 Towpath Marathon Finisher
"Glad to support the Towpath Marathon...it's an awesome course...I've done it 5 times now and is really a must run for me...See you folks next year."
- Bill Rossow, Five-Time Towpath Marathon Finisher
"This is a great touch to a fun day in the park."
- Roger Werstler, 2004 Marathon Finisher