The course takes runners through a scenic, hilly jaunt around downtown Cleveland and the Flats area. It starts and ends at historic St. Malachi Church. Between the 5-Miler and the 2-Miler race, about 4,000 runners attend this annual event put on by Hermes Road Racing.
Pre-Race: With a late start, 9:45 a.m., which I loved for a March race, I wasn’t sure quite how to prep. I got up at a decent hour to begin hydrating and ended up eating a grapefruit for breakfast, along with a piece of raisin toast with peanut butter. Once at the race location we picked up our packets and spotted a 5-Hour Energy promo display. I ended up chugging one. I’m not sure if that helped my spirits or race time. Runners gathered pre-race in the lot behind the church. It was knee deep runners.
The husband offered to run this race with me and stay beside me the whole time, which was so very much appreciated. I have expressed my distaste for winter running many a time. And although it was sunny out at race start, I was still bundled up. Having company along the 5-Mile course was such a blessing. We decided to start our racing season with this as a “fun run.” Even so, I was pleasantly surprised with our time, which was a comfortable pace and faster than my recent long run paces.
Official Time: 55:39
Age Group (Female 25-29): 204/235
The race had us starting uphill as we tackled Veterans Memorial Bridge. This would not be the last. I thought this course was great for a casual fun run as it offered great views of downtown…
…Cleveland Browns Stadium and (not pictured) Lake Erie.
We sprinted and crossed the finish line together and headed over to the refreshments area to enjoy bottled water and cold pizza, which really hit the spot! There was also fresh fruit offered post-race.
I liked the shirt design but was a bit disappointed it was not a technical T-shirt. I could have swore it was advertised as such, but when I checked after the race it was advertised as a “customized shirt.” Mine is probably too small this time – I ordered a Youth Large and the sleeves look 3/4 length.
Post-Race: We headed out rather quickly after the race. There was an advertised post-race party at a local Irish pub/eatery but from all accounts no free food there. Age group and overall awards were distributed.
Would I Recommend This Race?: Overall, I would recommend the St. Malachi 5-Miler. My biggest complaints were over the cotton T-shirt for the $18 entry fee, a rather clumsy water stop and only one at that (at least when I got there it was a cluster) and crowding.
For a fun run though, I wasn’t consumed with the slower start due to the number of participants. I had a great time taking in the sights and sounds of Cleveland. I enjoyed the hilly challenge the course presented as well. My quad muscles were in fact burning the next day! I might also add that Hermes Road Racing posted results for the St. Malachi 5-Miler in record time!