Side Effects

The latest blow in Cleveland's struggle of East vs. West has been delivered by the most transient of institutions: the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. Organizers used a survey and Facebook to ask runners what they'd like changed. Apparently, the results were that participants don't like running through Hough, Glenville or University Circle. Facebook commenters called the eastern route dull, boring and forgettable. That's odd, since a 2-mile stretch through the Cleveland Cultural Gardens also included last year's most dramatic elevation drop. (Maybe a brain scan is in order.) 

Instead, the new course sends the message that what we'd really like to forget are those neighborhoods. Rocky River and Lakewood — additions to this year's race — don't need more foot traffic. Hough and Glenville do. One way those neighborhoods are going to improve is by attracting events such as the marathon. 

If spectator attendance was too low, promote it more, have more events or water stops. Don't just give up. But on the bright side, at least we can take a leisurely walk along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive May 18 and not be run down by a pair of expensive sneakers.
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