Cleveland Heights, June 24, 8:30 a.m.
If you live in Cleveland Heights, you're used to the big, beautiful ladies showing themselves off during the summer months. We're referring, of course, tithe houses: Tudor, Greek revivalist -- flights of fancy made from thousands of bricks, tons of stucco and shutters galore. This race is the perfect opportunity to ogle at a leisurely pace. The first leg extends about a mile from Fairmount Boulevard to Coventry Road. A canopy of old-growth trees covers the roadway on the trip back up North Park Boulevard, meaning you'll hit the shade by the time you start feeling the heat. 5K run/walk, 10K, 10K wheelchair race; participants get a T-shirt.
Winking Lizard Shotin the Dark
Cleveland, July 21, 6:30 & 7 p.m.
Mention this race to anyone in the city, and odds are they’ve run it or know someone who has. Its popularity after just three years can be attributed to many factors: an evening start, free sandwiches for participants, a primo downtown location and post-race band. Or could it be - that's right,it's the beer garden. Huron Road is shut downs staffers can sling pints and margaritas, while shirtless, sweaty runners mill around following the race. The band plays until10: 30 p.m. After that, the party moves inside.2-mile walk/team run and 4-mile run; the 4-miler sends you over both the Lorain-Carnegie and Detroit-Superior bridges; participants receive a goofy T-shirt with a lizard on it.
Classic at Mastic
Rocky River, Aug. 8, 6 & 6:45 p.m.
Trail races are a popular way to mark the end of summer. The River Run in September winds through the Cleveland Metro parks, and October features the Towpath marathon. The Classic at Mastic, now in its 15th year, arrives before both of them, giving runners chance to get back in touch with trail running. But this Rocky River race is capped at 500 runners, so don't bother trying to register on raceway. The race is split into a men's race (6 p.m.)and a women's race (6:45 p.m.). High school cross-country runners participate in droves --proceeds from the race go into a scholarship fund. If you’re feeling particularly gonzo come race day, we suggest picking a few teenage targets and trying to beat them across the finish line. Good luck with that.5K run; racers receive a nylon shoe/tote bag.