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Category Archives: Ohio City

Ohio City Run & Crawl 5K

Last night, Kristy & I took part in the Ohio City Run & Crawl 5K. I have run it all three years they’ve had it, and this was her second time. I knew we were going to be in for an interesting evening when the baseball game I was watching while waiting to leave was interrupted by the local weatherman due to a tornado warning a few counties over. I looked at the radar and saw most of northwest Ohio was covered in dark greens, yellows and reds. But we had paid our money already, and figured it would end sometime and they would still have the race.

So we ventured out at 5:45, just as the skies were getting very dark. Within a couple of minutes, it started raining. Just as we got on I-480, the wind started whipping around and was blowing my car around worse than I had ever experienced. I had a death grip on the wheel just to try to keep it in my lane. Fortunately that only lasted a few minutes, but was followed up immediately by torrential downpours, the kind of which the fastest setting on your windshield wipers doesn’t do much for. So we ambled along at about 30 mph, trying to avoid all of the cars with their flashers on, and eventually it let up enough to where people realized the world wasn’t ending. We did a drive by of the starting area in Ohio City, and saw people lined up to get their numbers and chips, so we found a parking spot, and reluctantly made our way through the still heavy rain to the starting area and picked up our gear.

We hung out at the starting area, under the cover of the Great Lakes Brewing Company awnings until the rain stopped, around 7:10. They finally started setting up the start/finish lines and had us line up to get things going a little before 7:30. It was at this time, during which I saw another runner with an inhaler, that I realized my dumb ass had forgotten my inhaler. So I quickly realized today would not be my fastest 5K, and might even end up being my slowest. But oh well, there was beer at the end, so at least I had that going for me.

Surprisingly though, I actually felt really good. My time ultimately was really slowed down by the fact that I started the race near the back, and it was really hard to get around people during the twists and turns of mile one. I finished mile one in 7:22, which was my slowest by far of the race. I believe I ran the second mile in right around 7:00 flat, and ended up finishing in 21:24, for an average pace of 7:02/mi. This put me in 8th place out of 42 runners in the men 20-29 category (in my final appearance in this category), and 42nd overall out of the 271 runners who competed. My time was about 50 seconds slower than last year’s race, and 9 second slower than my time from 2 years ago, but I was content. I was just happy to be able to run well without my inhaler. Somedays my body is cool with that, other days it’s not.

Kristy also ran, and beat her time from last year almost by a full minute, so she was very happy. Afterwards, we went back to the car and changed into some slightly less stinky clothes, and headed up to the Bier Markt. We stood around forever waiting to get our 25 cent Labatt Blue draft, but after seeing the keg was empty and there were about 100 people waiting, we ended up just buying beers. I picked up a Bells Oberon, which was the first time I’d had it on draft and surprisingly I did not enjoy it as much as the 6-pack of bottles I had of it last month. I resisted the urge to order one of my new favorite beers, the Gulden Draak (which I had for the first time last weekend on draft at the North End in Hudson and loved), as it’s 10.5% alcohol content might have made it an early night for me. We ended up meeting Kyle and Erika, and a few of their friends and family and hung out for a few hours, between Bier Markt and the Garage Bar, and had a really good time. It was well worth the crap we went through to get there.

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running (and crawling) around ohio city

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Bar "bowling"
Bar "bowling",
originally uploaded by thespacerace.

Last night was the 2nd annual Ohio City Run & Crawl 5K. It was my second go-around at this race, and my first 5K since last year’s event, though this year I was very glad to be joined by my fiancee, Kristy, who was running the event for the first time. The weather was a bit warm, but not unbearable. There was a very nice turnout this year, with about 470 runners, compared to last year’s 310. The course, which mostly winds around Ohio City, was a little different this year, but was still very comparable to last years.

The starting line, on Market Avenue right in front of the West Side Market, was pretty crowded since the street is narrow, so the first quarter mile was a lot of trying to run around people. After that, it was pretty sparse. I honestly don’t think anyone passed me beyond the first half mile, which just about never happens to me, and I was able to slowly pick off a number of people during the 3.1 miles.

I hit the one mile mark at 6:30, and knew I had a good chance of beating last year’s time if I could keep it up. I was huffing and puffing pretty hard the whole time though, and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to maintain my pace. It was very encouraging to see my friends, Josh and Amanda, helping to man the water stop halfway through.

Luckily I still had some gas in the tank near the end and was able to kick it into high gear for the last tenth of a mile, though I was almost taken out by another runner I was passing as he was cutting a corner very tight. But I got past and was able to sprint to the finish line to clock a time of 20:35, which is 40 seconds faster than my time from last year, which was my previous best for a 5K. Kristy meanwhile knocked a number of minutes off her previous 5K best, finishing much faster than she had anticipated. So we both came away happy with the race and our results.

Afterwards, we met back up with Josh and Amanda, who were our guides on the pub crawl portion of the event. First we hit up the Garage Bar, and continued to enjoy the nice weather on their outdoor patio. We then hit up the Old Angle Tavern for some really good food, and then capped off the evening at the ABC Tavern, where much fun was had playing their “bowling” machine (as pictured above). I never knew so much fun could still be had these days with only a quarter. I had some beginner’s luck at first, but Josh turned out to be a pro. All in all it was a great night and made us wonder why we don’t head up to Ohio City more often.

come out and run


This coming Saturday evening, I encourage anyone in the Cleveland area to come out and participate in the 2nd annual Bier Markt Ohio City Run & Crawl. It is a 5K run/walk through Cleveland’s historic Ohio City neighborhood, which starts right out by the West Side Market, just over the bridge from downtown. Following the race, which starts at 7:00pm, there is a pub crawl in which local restaurants and bars typically offer specials to race participants. You even get a t-shirt and goodie bag for participating. You can register at the race, or online.

I ran the inaugural race last year and had a great time. The course is nice and flat, all the streets are closed off, and the bar is just a short walk from the finish line. Last year, the Bier Markt gave a free beer out to all runners who stopped in after the race.

Saturday’s run will actually be my first 5K race in a year, when I ran in last years event. I ran a personal best 21:15 then, and am hoping to come in under 21 minutes this time. I’ve had some good training runs lately, and some bad ones. So let’s just hope that Saturday my body decides to have a good day and be cooperative.