The 1983 movie "A Christmas Story" was filmed in Cleveland, and the race route goes between Tower Square, where the old Higbees was once located, and the Christmas Story House, which is now a museum and has been renovated to look like it did in the film. There are 5K and 10K race distances - the 5K ends at the Christmas Story House, the 10K loops back to the start at Tower City.
The 2017 run is this Saturday, but I'm not participating this year.
The race itself was a lot of fun. Temperatures were in the mid-30s, the sky was cloudy but it wasn't raining or snowing. There were a lot of people there - 5827 people finished the races in 2016! Many came in costumes based on the film - people dressed as leg lamps, bandits, Santa and his elves, dogs with stuffed turkeys, and pink rabbit suits as far as the eye could see. My favorite costume was the Tapestry of Obscenity - a woman was wearing a poncho decorated in Symbol Swearing! It was hilarious. Unfortunately, I did not get a photo because I saw her during the race.
At the finish line racers received their medals and snacks - bananas, yogurt drinks, cookies, and Ovaltine! Be sure to drink your Ovaltine!
Race entry included one free admission to the Christmas Story House Museum, but we didn't go inside because the line stretched down the block. I had planned to go back with my mom at Christmas, but that never happened.
Not know how fast I would be running, I lined up at the back of the 11 minute mile group (the slowest marked pace) so I wouldn't block anyone running faster than me. Unfortunately there were still a lot of walkers who ignored the mile group markers, so I was ducking and weaving through the entire race, trying to pass people. I've read that this is pretty standard, especially for casual fun run races like this one, so it didn't bother me (too much) - we were all there to have a good time!
I ended up averaging about 13 minutes per mile and finished in 39 minutes - great for my first 5K! I set a pace at the start of the race and maintained it throughout the run, which was my goal - no walking breaks. I was very proud of myself when I accomplished this. My aunt, who ran with me, was very proud of me too. We're hoping to participate in more races together, though that will depend on my being able to drive back to Ohio.
If you had told me ten years ago that I would not only be able to run 3 miles without stopping, but that I would enjoy it I would have laughed. But I am very glad that this is something I can do now, and something I enjoy. Running became my "me time" and I (usually) look forward to it - and I have found that my mood is more level when I run regularly, probably due to the combination of physical activity, and taking some time each week where I can tune out and not feel guilty about it. I'm looking forward to participating in more races this year and one day I hope to participate in a Disney half marathon!