CLEVELAND (WJW) – The 46th annual Cleveland Marathon welcomed thousands of participants for the marquee race event in the region.
Six-thousand runners participated in the full and half-marathons on Sunday, and 4,000 more took part in the 10K, 5K and kids race on Saturday.
“We feel great about it,” executive race director Jack Staph said. “We think it’s a great thing for our city, for our runners and ourselves. We’ve been doing this for 46 years and we love it. We love the runners and this crowd. We love everything about this day.”
The men’s top finisher wowed everyone by taking the title in his first attempt, finishing with a time of 2:19:56.
“I feel great. This was my first marathon and I just had a great race,” Pittsburgh’s Will Loevner said. “I felt good the entire time.”
Hudson’s very own Ashton Swinford didn’t let a mid-week cold stop her from defending the women’s title, finishing with a time of 2:47:37.
“I love to challenge myself,” Swinford said. “I love fresh air. I think it’s a good example to my children to see their mom go after big dreams. And it’s just a whole lot of fun for me.”
But not everything went according to plan. A 30-year-old woman who was competing in the half-marathon was taken to University Hospitals main after experiencing a medical emergency. The cause and her condition are both unknown.
Cleveland native Adam Gorlitsky’s exoskeletal marathon walking world record attempt ended prematurely due to a mechanical issue at mile 16 of 26.2.
“I was on pace to break my record by almost 10 hours,” Gorlitsky said. “It actually gave me a lot of confidence.”
But the founder of the “I Got Legs” nonprofit is not letting the setback stop his mission to inspire others while advocating to make exoskeletal marathon racing a collegiate and paralympic sport.
“Amazing weekend,” he said. “I’ll be back. I don’t know if I’ll do the full marathon as I was saying before, definitely the 10K or the half marathon. Cleveland, I’m coming back.”
The Concussion Legacy Foundation also raised more than $350,000 for research this weekend.