Towpath Marathon

Featuring Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K Race Lengths

The conclusion of the Towpath Trilogy

Celebrating 26 Years of the Towpath Marathon

Runner Perks
Rules & Regulations
Packet Pickup
Race Expo

Race Day
Parking & Spectator Locations
Course Descriptions & Maps
Frequently Asked Questions

The Towpath Marathon

Date: October 8th, 2017

Location: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

1556 Boston Mills Road, Boston, OH 44264 (get directions)

Register with

See prices

Register via mail:

Marathon Mail In Registration 2017


Bib Mail-Out: September 19, 2017

Mail and Fax Registration: October 3rd, 2017

Online Registration: October 5th, 2017 at midnight



Canalway Partners hosts the Towpath Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K every fall in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Described as “one of the most beautiful race courses in America” by Runner’s World magazine, the Towpath Marathon showcases breathtaking segments of the historic Towpath Trail located between Akron and Cleveland.

The Towpath Marathon is one of few marathons that take place in a national park, and many consider it a unique specialty race due to the setting and time of year in which it is run. All proceeds from the event benefit Canalway Partners, an organization that has been actively developing and participating in a variety of events and projects to preserve, promote and educate the public about the area surrounding one of Northeast Ohio’s most valuable resources – our park system along the Ohio Canal.

Towpath Marathon Art by Tom Yurcich

The Towpath Marathon was established in 1992 to introduce the Towpath Trail as a new recreational amenity and to promote the establishment of the Ohio & Erie Canalway; in 1993, it was one of ten events that celebrated the completion of the Towpath Trail through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Since its inception, the Towpath Marathon has grown to become one of Northeast Ohio’s premier marathons, attracting an average of 1,200 participants and 3,500 spectators from more than twenty-seven states for a weekend of outdoor festivities and athletic competition.

The Towpath Marathon is a Boston qualifier, and part of the Great Lakes Marathon Series.

Runner Perks

All Towpath Marathon Runners receive a performance tee, half-marathon and 10k runner receive a shirt in short-sleeve while those completing the full-marathon receive a long-sleeve version. Those that complete the full-marathon and the half-marathon receive a collectible finisher’s medal. Prizes include photo awards and gift-certificates, (view award divisions.)



Savor autumn in all its saturated hues at one of the most beautiful marathons on the fall racing calendar, which also happens to showcase one of the Midwest’s few national parks. Named for the Native American word for “crooked river,” the 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park provides the brilliant backdrop for this trio of races, which started with a relay in 1992. The flat, fast events—including a marathon that’s popular as a Boston qualifier—feature a winding, scenic out-and-back on the park’s 85-mile Towpath Trail. The crushed limestone path meanders along the Cuyahoga River, complete with wooden bridges and resident wildlife like otters, herons, and even bald eagles. At the finish line, live music and $4 pints from a local brewery keep the fun rolling.”

-Runner’s World- “Bucket List: 10 Races In or Near National Parks” -August 2015


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 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


  • Those under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian signature on the entry form.
  • The minimum age for the Towpath Marathon races are:
    • 13 for the 10k race length
    • 14 for the half marathon race length
    • 16 for the full marathon race length


Packet pickup will be at the Towpath Marathon Expo, at Boston Mills Ski Resort, 7100 Riverview Road, Peninsula, OH 44264, (get directions) from 3 PM  to 7  PM on Friday 10/6, and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday 10/7

There is no day-of packet pickup, Bib Mail-out is available until Sept. 19 for $10. (Towpath Marathon bib mail-out form)

Information on Towpath Marathon Race Day